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Antonia Lolordo presents an original interpretation of John Locke's conception of moral agency-one that has implications both for his metaphysics and for the foundations of his political theory. While Locke eliminates any sharp distinction between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom, he assumes in his ethical and political work that there is a sharp distinction between moral agents and other beings. He thus needs to be able to delineate the set ofmoral agents precisely, without relying on the sort of metaphysical and physical facts his predecessors appealed to. Lolordo argues that for Locke, to be a moral agent is simply to be free, rational, and a person. Interpreting the Lockean metaphysics of moral agency in this way helps us to understand bothLocke's over-arching philosophical project and the details of his accounts of liberty, personhood, and rationality.
Antonia LoLordo is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy and various articles on Descartes, Gassendi, Hume, Locke, Malebranche, and others. She received her PhD from Rutgers University.
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