Early Modern Skepticism And The Origins Of Toleration / Edition 266

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This collection of original essays by the nation's leading political theorists examines the origins of modernity and considers the question of tolerance as a product of early modern religious skepticism. Rather than approaching the problem through a purely historical lens, the authors actively demonstrate the significance of these issues to contemporary debates in political philosophy and public policy. The contributors to Early Modern Skepticism raise and address questions of the utmost significance: Is religious faith necessary for ethical behavior? Is skepticism a fruitful ground from which to argue for toleration? This book will be of interest to historians, philosophers, religious scholars, and political theorists—anyone concerned about the tensions between private beliefs and public behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

American Political Science Review
Levine and his contributors must be congratulated for producing a uniformly learned and elegant set of inquiries into the foundations of early modern toleration.
Times Literary Supplement
Many excellent American writers have made Montaigne a precursor of modern liberalism. They include . . . Alan Levine (Early Modern Skepticism and the Origins of Toleration).
American Political Science Review
Levine and his contributors must be congratulated for producing a uniformly learned and elegant set of inquiries into the foundations of early modern toleration.
— Cary J. Nederman
While researching Montaigne, Levine began looking for secondary literature on the relationship between skepticism and toleration, but found little. So he has assembled a dozen essays, some written for the volume, others from various conferences, on the subject. Among their perspectives are Luther and Calvin and the limits of reason, French free-thinkers in the first decades of the Edict of Nantes, Descartes, the Levellers, Hobbes, Lock, Pierre Bayle, and Voltaire and Diderot. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739100240
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Applications of Political Theory Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 266
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 0.66 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Levine is Assistant Professor of Government at American University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Prehistory of Toleration and Varieties of Skepticism 1
2 Through a Glass Darkly: Luther and Calvin and the Limits of Reason 21
3 Skepticism, Self, and Toleration in Montaigne's Political Thought 51
4 French Free-Thinkers in the First Decades of the Edict of Nantes 77
5 Descartes and the Question of Toleration 103
6 Toleration and the Skepticism of Religion in Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus 127
7 Monopolizing Faith: The Levellers, Rights, and Religious Toleration 147
8 Skepticism and Toleration in Hobbes' Political Thought 165
9 John Locke and the Foundations of Toleration 179
10 Pierre Bayle's Atheist Politics 197
11 Of Believers and Barbarians: Montesquieu's Enlightened Toleration 225
12 The Tolerant Skepticism of Voltaire and Diderot: Against Leibnizian Optimism and "Wise Charity" 249
Index 271
About the Contributors 281
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