Ideas of Contract in English Political Thought in the Age of John Locke

1st Edition

Martyn P. Thompson

Routledge
August 1, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 322 Pages
ISBN 9780367279257 - CAT# K426087
Series: Routledge Library Editions: 17th Century Philosophy

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Summary

Originally published in 1987. This book analyses what Englishmen understood by the term contract in political discussions during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It provides evidence for reconsidering conventional accounts of the relationships between political ideas, groups and practices of the period. But also suggests cause for examining the general history of modern European contract theory. It considers contract as a term appearing in a spectrum of works from philosophical treatise to sermons and polemical pamphlets. Looking at the various vocabularies relating to contractualist ideas, the author suggests that standard histories of social contract theory and particular histories of English political thought during this unstable period have misrepresented the meaning of the term contract as a key term in political argument. He shows that there were in fact three different categories of contract theory but allows that the various kinds of contractualism did share certain broad features. This study of a crucial age in the history of appeals to contract in political argument will be of interest to political philosophers and historians.

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