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Samuel Gregg has a really great piece on The Public Discourse this morning, deconstructing my qualified defense of Locke here on First Thoughts. ( See also )

This is serious stuff and I’ll be composing a full-dress reply to run over on PD. In the meantime, let me thank Gregg for investing the time and effort to compose this analysis. How we understand Locke is critical to our understanding of where we are now, how we got here, and where we want to go next. I agreed in my original post that Locke has deficiencies, and while I’m still going to end up disagreeing with Gregg on a lot of points, he’s pushed me to reexamine some things and I anticipate that I’ll be coming down somewhere slightly different from where I was before. The focal point is going to be opening up the question of exactly what we mean by “social contract theory” and to what extent the concept of contract was central for Locke - as well as to what extent the concept of contract means something very different now than it did in the late 17th century. Stay tuned!

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