In this volume, John Baltes challenges this interpretation of Locke. Examining Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Baltes reveals a Locke who is in conflict with the natural-law philosopher found in his famous Two Treatises of Government. In his works on epistemology and education, Locke describes morality as a construct and human nature as malleable. Drawing on Foucault's concept of discipline, Baltes reconsiders Locke's liberalism and shows that it requires citizens governed not by natural law but habit, that is, subjects who are constructed by carefully controlled space and visibility and regulated in their conduct to become capable of self-government. The Empire of Habit thus offers not only a new reading of one of the most important political philosophers of the Western tradition but also new insight into our own political liberalism.
John Baltes is an independent scholar of political theory.
University of Rochester Press
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Table of Contents
Locke on Religious Crisis and Civil War: Nominalism, Skepticism, and the Essay in Context
Locke's Inverted Quarantine: Discipline, Panopticism, and the Making of the Liberal Subject
Locke's Labor Loosed: Discipline and the Idle
Locke the Landgrave: Inegalitarian Discipline
The Empire of Habit is the most detailed and comprehensive investigation of the fundamental roles of discipline and habit formation in Locke's political, economic, educational, and epistemological writings. It throws new light on the preconditions of Locke's political theory in the Two Treatises.
--James Tully, University of Victoria