Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : virtuous

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The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested--rulers, lawyers, clerics--have carefully enwound her. She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. But the inveterate enemies of thought--the government, the lawgiver, and the priest--soon recover from their defeat. By degrees they gather together their scattered forces, and remodel their faith and their code of laws to adapt them to the new needs. Then, profiting by the servility of thought and of character, which they themselves have so effectually cultivated; prof...

BOOK VII OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS CHAPTER I LIMITATIONS OF THE DOCTRINE OF PUNISHMENT WHICH RESULT FROM THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALITY The subject of punishment is perhaps the most fundamental in the science of politics. Men associated for the sake of mutual protection and benefit. It has already appeared that the internal affairs of such associations are of an inexpressibly higher importance than their external. It has appeared that the action of society, in conferring rewards, and superintending opinion, is of pernicious effect. Hence it follows that government, or the action of society in its corporate capacity, can scarcely be of any utility except so far as it is requisite for the suppression of force by force; for the prevention of the hostile attack of one member of the society, upon the person or property of another, which prevention is usually called by the...

The text is taken from my copy of the fourth edition, 1842. This version of Political Justice, originally published in 1793, is based on the corrected third edition, published in 1798. I will continue adding material until the entire work is on-line. ENQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE BOOK I OF THE POWERS OF MAN CONSIDERED IN HlS SOCIAL CAPACITY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Subject of inquiry--of the first book. --Received ideas of political institution. --Propriety of these ideas questioned.--Plan of the first book. THE object proposed in the following work is an investigation concerning that form of public or political society, that system of intercourse and reciprocal action, extending beyond the bounds of a single family, which shall be found most to conduce to the general be...


Ethics: Morality of the State The Theory of Social Contract. Man is not only the most individual being on earth-he is also the most social being. It was a great fallacy on the part of Jean Jacques Rousseau to have assumed that primitive society was established by a free contract entered into by savages. But Rousseau was not the only one to uphold such views. The majority of jurists and modern writers, whether of the Kantian school or of other individualist and liberal schools, who do not accept the theological idea of society being founded upon divine right, nor that of the Hegelian school-of society as the more or less mystic realization of objective morality- nor the primitive animal society of the naturalist school-take nolens volens, fo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

From: William Godwin . Imogen: A Pastoral Romance From the Ancient British. BOOK THE FOURTH SONG IN HONOUR OF THE FAIR SEX. HYPOCRISY OF THE MAGICIAN. THE TRIUMPH OF IMOGEN. DESPAIR AND CONSOLATION OF RODERIC. So much was Roderic discouraged by the apparent spirit and firmness of these declarations, that at the conclusion of them he abruptly quitted his captive, and released her for a moment from his unjust persecutions. His pride however was too strongly piqued, and his passions too much alarmed to permit her a real respite Where ever, cried he, as he trod with hasty and irregular steps the level green, "where ever were found such simplicity, and so much strength of judgment, and gaiety of wit in union? Is it possible for the extreme of simplicity and the perfection of intellect to meet together? These surely are paradoxes, that not all the goblins of the abyss can solve, and which, had they been related instead of seen, must have...


William Godwin, The Enquirer. Reflections On Education, Manners, And Literature. In A Series Of Essays. London: G.G. and J. Robinson, 1797. The Enquirer. Part I. Essay I. Of Awakening the Mind The true object of education, like that of every other moral process, is the generation of happiness. Happiness to the individual in the first place. If individuals were universally happy, the species would be happy. Man is a social being. In society the interests of individuals are interwisted with each other, and cannot be separated. Men should be taught to assist each other. The first object should be to train a man to be happy; the second to train him to be useful, that is, to be virtuous. There is a further reason for this. Virtue is essential to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


...We have said that man is not only the most individualistic being on earth -- he is also the most social. It was a great mistake on the part of Jean Jacques Rousseau to have thought that primitive society was established through a free agreement among savages. But Jean Jacques is not the only one to have said this. The majority of jurists and modern publicists, either of the school of Kant or any other individualist and liberal school, those who do not accept the idea of a society founded upon the divine right of the theologians nor of a society determined by the Hegelian school as a more or less mystical realization of objective morality, nor of the naturalists' concept of a primitive animal society, all accept, nolens volens, and for la... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Night in a prison cell! A chair, a bed, a small washstand, four blank walls, ghastly in the dim light from the corridor without, a narrow window, barred and sunken in the stone, a grated door! Beyond its hideous iron latticework, within the ghastly walls, -a man! An old man, gray-haired and wrinkled, lame and suffering. There he sits, in his great loneliness, shut in front all the earth. There he walks, to and fro, within his measured space, apart from all he loves! 'There, for every night in five long years to come, he will walk alone, while the white age-flakes drop upon his head, while the last years of the winter of life gather and pass, and his body draws near the ashes. Every night, for five long years to come, he will sit alone, this... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Whose fault is it? Governments exist, we are told, as a terror to evil doers, the presumption of course being that they themselves are among such as do well. From this point of view it is interesting to glance now and again at the doings of our rulers. One may always profit by observing the conduct of the virtuous. At the present moment, for example, the English Government are employing a number of men to murder the people and ravage the country of Burmah. The reason? The greed of English traders demands that portion of the earth's surface as a base of operations, if France is to monopolize Tonquin. In other words, if Louis steals, John must be allowed to steal too. In excuse it is alleged there were native tyrants in Burmah. Perhaps; but i... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


This work is part of the International Institute for Social History collection and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. Thoughts Occasioned By The Perusal Of Dr. Parr's Spital Sermon, Preached At Christ Church, April 15, 1800: Being A Reply to the Attacks of Dr. Parr, Mr. Mackintosh, the Author of an Essay On Population, and Others. by William Godwin LONDON: Printed by Taylor and Wilks, Chancery-Lane; and sold by G.G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row. 1801. I HAVE now continued for some years a silent, not an inattentive, spectator of the flood of ribaldry, invective and intolerance which has been poured out against me and my writings. The work which has principally afforded a topic for the exercise of this malignity has been... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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