Educating in self-governance. Locke and the role of religion in the formation of the free man


  • Alessia Affinito Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza



In Thoughts on Education (1693) John Locke discusses important issues of pedagogy, offering a method in the process of accompanying the growth and learning of the one who, once an adult, will have to prove himself responsible for his actions and freed from a tyranny originated first of all from self-love. An important part of the work is therefore reserved for the promotion of virtue through the progressive exercise of reason and the need to develop in educating an ability to control passions, desires and personal interests. Within this educational proposal — aimed at sustaining the character and establishing a right relationship with the external world — the notion of God and the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures acquire particular relevance. An aspect that could appear singular and yet indispensable to a careful reading, both if seen in continuity with the presuppositions of the limited government of the Two Treaties and in relation to the individual morality set by Locke in support of the promises and pacts proper to associated life, as well as necessary for salvation in an afterlife.





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