Locke Studies has just published a review of Jonathan S. Marko’s Measuring the Distance between Locke and Toland written by Stewart Duncan (Florida). Marko argues that Locke and Toland essentially agree on epistemological matters pertaining to faith and reason and that, in particular, they agree regarding which propositions are “above reason”. This is a new and surprising thesis that Marko is defending. Marko supports it by finding an important difference between two senses of “Reason” in Locke’s texts, “proper reason” and “vulgar reason” and arguing that propositions above reason should be understood as above vulgar reason.  Duncan offers a “textual challenge” to Marko’s claim that the sense of reason at issue in Locke’s acceptance of propositions above reason is “vulgar reason”.

Anyone interested in Locke’s account of reason, Locke’s understanding of the relationship between faith and reason, or Locke’s relationships to Toland and other deists should take a look at Marko’s book and Duncan’s review of it. Both are recommended reading for everyone interested in Locke’s philosophy of religion. You can find the full review here.