No single individual is ever the sole founder of any major stance in political philosophy. Nevertheless, if one were forced to name the founder of the classical liberal perspective in political thought which holds as its primary political principle that individual liberty is to be respected and protected one would have to point to the English philosopher John Locke.
This short book offers a sympathetic account of the key contentions and arguments that add up to Locke's classical liberal political philosophy. Not every claim Locke makes within political philosophy fits comfortably within the classical liberal paradigm. Nor was every policy stance Locke took consistent with the abstract principles of his political doctrine. Nevertheless, the picture found in this book of Locke as the fountainhead of classical liberal political thinking both captures the essence of Locke as a normative political theorist and reveals a good deal of the character and plausibility of the classical liberal vision.