Browsing Untitled By Tag : wise man

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BOOK II PRINCIPALS OF SOCIETY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In the preceding book we have cleared the foundations for the remaining branches of inquiry, and shown what are the prospects it is reasonable to entertain as to future political improvement. The effects which are produced by positive institutions have there been delineated, as well as the extent of the powers of man, considered in his social capacity. It is time that we proceed to those disquisitions which are more immediately the object of the present work. Political inquiry may be distributed under two heads: first, what are the regulations which will conduce to the well being of man in society; and, secondly, what is the authority which is competent to prescribe regulations. The regulations to which the conduct of men living in society ought to be con...

CHAPTER IV1 THE CHARACTERS OF MEN ORIGINATE IN THEIR EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Theory of the human mind.--Subjects of the present chapter--of the next.--Erroneous opinions refuted.--I. Innate principles.--This hypothesis, 1, superflous--2, unsatisfactory--3, absurd.--II. In- stincts.--Examination of this doctrine--of the arguments by which it has been enforced: from the early actions of infants--from the desire of self-preservation--from self-love--from pity.--III. Effects of antenatal impressions and original structure.--Variableness of the characters of men.--Ease with which impressions may be counter- acted.--Form of the infant undetermined.--Habits of men and other animals compared.--Inference.--Importance of these speculations.-- IV. Reasonings of the present chapter applied.--Three sorts of edu- cation--1, accident--2, precept--3, political institution.

I have not always been possessed of the religious ideas set forth in this book. For thirty-five years of my life I was, in the proper acceptation of the word, a nihilist,—not a revolutionary socialist, but a man who believed in nothing. Five years ago faith came to me; I believed in the doctrine of Jesus, and my whole life underwent a sudden transformation. What I had once wished for I wished for no longer, and I began to desire what I had never desired before. What had once appeared to me right now became wrong, and the wrong of the past I beheld as right. My condition was like that of a man who goes forth upon some errand, and having traversed a portion of the road, decides that the matter is of no importance, and turns back. What was at first on his right hand is now on his left, and what was at his left hand is now on his right; instead of going away from his abode, he desires to get back to it as soon as possible. My life and my desires were completely changed; good...


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.)

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