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Title: John Locke, Clipped Coins, and the Unstable Currency of Public Reason
Authors: Casson, Douglas
Keywords: John Lockepublic Reasonsocial contractconstitutionalismmoney
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Douglas Casson, "John Locke, Clipped Coins, and the Unstable Currency of Public Reason", in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2016) XVIII/2", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016, pp. 153-180
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
(2016) XVIII/2
John Locke’s concern with the collapse of a common economic currency mirrors his concern with the collapse of a common, public vocabulary. For Locke coins and words facilitate exchange, yet they also reflect and perhaps even constitute a people. They serve as a type of precommitment necessary for the creation and maintenance of a constitutional regime. A prior consent to language and money makes possible the type of consent that establishes political society. A stable, constitutional regime requires a unifying, public language through which norms of law and justice can be articulated. Just as his economic writings led to the Great Recoinage of sterling crowns, his philosophical and political writings can be understood as a defense of a Great Recoinage of public reason. However Locke’s persistent concern with linguistic and economic infidelity, subjectivity, and fraud reveals a deep anxiety about the viability of this project.
Type: Book
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2016) XVIII/2

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