In this Book

summary

The enduring appeal of liberalism lies in its commitment to the idea that human beings have a "natural" potential to live as free and equal individuals. The realization of this potential, however, is not a matter of nature, but requires that people be molded by a complex constellation of political and educational institutions. In this eloquent and provocative book, Uday Singh Mehta investigates in the major writings of John Locke the implications of this tension between individuals and the institutions that mold them. The process of molding, he demonstrates, involves an external conformity and an internal self-restraint that severely limit the scope of individuality.
Mehta explores the centrality of the human imagination in Locke’s thought, focusing on his obsession with the potential dangers of the cognitive realm. Underlying Locke’s fears regarding the excesses of the imagination is a political anxiety concerning how to limit their potential effects. In light of Locke’s views on education, Mehta concludes that the promise of liberation at the heart of liberalism is vitiated by its constraints on cognitive and political freedom.

Table of Contents

  1. The Anxiety of Freedom
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Passions of the Mind
  2. pp. 3-14
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  1. Madness and the Imagination
  2. pp. 15-23
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  1. Below the Threshold: Liberals and Communitarians
  2. pp. 24-30
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  1. Obscured Beginnings
  2. pp. 31-36
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  1. 2. The Critique of Scriptural Politics
  2. pp. 37-39
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  1. Scriptural Politics: An Underlying Discourse
  2. pp. 40-48
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  1. Prescribing the Context
  2. pp. 49-55
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  1. Paternity and Property
  2. pp. 56-58
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  1. The Emergence of a Political Narrative
  2. pp. 59-62
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  1. "Binding Men's Consciences"
  2. pp. 63-79
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  1. 3. Curiosity, Imagination, and Madness
  2. pp. 80-81
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  1. The Naturalistic Problematic: Interests and Appetites
  2. pp. 82-92
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  1. Curiosity and the "Busy Mind"
  2. pp. 93-103
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  1. Madness and the Imagination
  2. pp. 104-118
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  1. 4. Molding Individuality: Direction and Compromise
  2. pp. 119-126
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  1. Education and the Malleability of the Mind
  2. pp. 127-131
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  1. Self-Restraint and Submission
  2. pp. 132-140
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  1. The Privatization of Public Standards
  2. pp. 141-147
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  1. Distinctions: A Sense of Self and One's Place in the World
  2. pp. 148-153
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  1. The Political Compromise of Individuality
  2. pp. 154-167
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  1. 5. Conclusion
  2. pp. 168-174
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 175-182
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 183-186
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501726408
Related ISBN
9781501726392
MARC Record
OCLC
1057427496
Pages
200
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-06
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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