Making Sense of Locke’s Confession


After having given in the "Essay" a definition of freedom which straightforwardly entails its compatibility with – among other things – God's foreknowledge, Locke surprisingly writes in a 1693 letter to Molyneux that he does not see how human liberty can coexist with divine prescience. I argue that the confession to Molyneux can be made consistent with the "Essay"'s definition by embracing the view that the problem Locke had in mind when he drafted it was not a problem concerning the reality of human freedom but, rather, its value.


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