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Liberating JudgmentFanatics, Skeptics, and John Locke's Politics of Probability$
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Douglas John Casson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144740

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144740.001.0001

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Liberating Judgment

Liberating Judgment

Freedom, Happiness, and the Reasonable Self

(p.159) V Liberating Judgment
Liberating Judgment

Douglas John Casson

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains that for Locke, the capacity to experience freedom is tied to the capacity to make probable judgments. Although Locke joins Thomas Hobbes in arguing that liberty is a type of self-expression through action, he insists that it also requires a type of self-transcendence through judgment. Locke argues that man's “reasonableness” cannot simply be measured by internal coherence, but must always be gauged by his conformity to that which lies outside. It is man's ability to adjust his behavior to the authoritative signs of nature that ultimately makes his free self capable of self-governance. By learning to make judgments based on nature's probable deliverances, individuals become both reasonable and free.

Keywords:   John Locke, freedom, probable judgments, Thomas Hobbes, self-expression, self-transcendence, reasonableness, self-governance, liberty, judgment

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