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versión impresa ISSN 1666-485Xversión On-line ISSN 1668-723X


BAHR, Fernando. John Locke  y Pierre Bayle: sobre la libertad de conciencia. Tópicos [online]. 2004, n.12, pp.43-64. ISSN 1666-485X.

This paper intends a comparative analysis of freedom of thought and toleration,as these concepts appear by the end of the 17th century in Locke's Epistola de Tolerantia and Bayle's Commentaire Philosophique. Nowadays we think that an open society implies freedom of thought as one of its pillars, and so an unlimited toleration, except in case others were injured. For Locke, things were different: freedom of thought was, for him, obedience to natural (or divine) law, the basis of human society, and this purported that those who did not recognize the law (catholics, mahometans, atheists) were excluded. Bayle, on the other hand, showed that the only truth subsistent in issues concerning religious matters was a relative, "putative truth", something that catholics, mahometans and atheists pretended to possess. There was no reason, therefore, to exclude those groups from human society. In his book, Bayle is sometimes against himself. On the contrary, Locke's theory is clear and well founded. But, and this is our conclusion, not always attentive to practical life contingencies.

Palabras clave : Locke; Bayle; freedom of thought; toleration.

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