Center for Open Access in Science (COAS)
ISSN (Online) 2560-5380 *


2019 - Volume 3 - Number 1

The Idea of Tolerance – John Locke and Immanuel Kant

Tatyana Vasileva Petkova * * ORCID: 0000-0003-4567-8635
South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Faculty of Philosophy, Blagoevgrad, BULGARIA

Open Journal for Studies in Philosophy, 2019, 3(1), 17-24 *
Online Published Date: 8 September 2019

LICENCE: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ARTICLE (Full Text - PDF)

KEY WORDS: John Locke, Immanuel Kant, peace, tolerance.

This study aims to present that the most visible and drastic changes in the life of modern humans are caused by the ability human to be a person that is equal to be tolerant. From a historical point of view, the manifestation of tolerance towards people has always been problematic – for some it is in short supply, and for others it has been in surplus. In the first case, it has caused conflicts and wars to win it, in the second, sanctions and repressions. The tolerance has been and is the subject of many analyzes, philosophical concepts, ethical schemes, and socio-political mechanisms that construct societies. This article is explored John Locke and Immanuel Kant’s position on the tolerance described in their scientific papers A Letter Concerning Toleration and Perpetual Peace. In the introduction is said that the tolerance has many dimensions. In its essence, it is always pluralistic, implied consent, freedom, continuity, understanding, equality, etc. It is a segment of achieving interpersonal, group, intergroup, inter-community and international relations. The first subtopic is about tolerance in historical contextual links. The second is about Locke and his Letter – Locke’s letter of the tolerance from 1689, which supports the idea of the need for religious tolerance, it is not only a recommendation, but also a condition for a peaceful and just cohabitation of citizens in a society – this is the century, when England sets up its own church, which strives to distinguish both from the Roman Catholic and the Protestant – creating a Protestant church – the Anglican church. Before Locke published a Letter of Tolerance, after his return to England in 1689, after his immigration to the Netherlands, he published two other fundamental works: Two Tracts on Government and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). The third sub-topic is about Kant and his concept of the possible perpetual peace – the theory of “perpetual peace” was created by Kant at the end of the 18th century. According to him, as relations within a state can be regulated wisely in order to maintain internal peace, and relations between people from different countries could be wisely regulated in order to achieve external peace. Kant thinks that moral-practical reason obliges us to exclude wars, otherwise it would mean that we have to give up our mind and be equated with the animals. In the conclusion is noted the great contribution of ideas from the works of Locke and Kant is the basis of the American Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and how much tolerance we need today in a globalized world.

Tatyana Vasileva Petkova, South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Philosophical and Political Sciences, Blagoevgrad, BULGARIA. E-mail:


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