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Toleration and Understanding in Locke$
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Nicholas Jolley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791706

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791706.001.0001

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Belief and the Will

Belief and the Will

Chapter:
(p.75) 5 Belief and the Will
Source:
Toleration and Understanding in Locke
Author(s):

Nicholas Jolley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791706.003.0005

It is sometimes said that Locke’s position on the nature of belief is inconsistent: in the Epistola de Tolerantia Locke argues that belief is not under our voluntary control, whereas in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding he appears to say that it is. This chapter seeks to defend the overall consistency of Locke’s position on this issue. The chapter further examines Waldron’s criticism that, by admitting that at least the sources of belief are under our voluntary control, Locke opens up a ‘fatal crack’ in his case for religious toleration against Proast. It is argued that Locke can be defended against this criticism by drawing on his concept of sincere belief.

Keywords:   belief, Descartes, error, sincere belief, voluntary, Waldron

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