Godwin believed that most human beings are brute and imitative, making those precious few liberated individual minds all the more important.
If methodological individualists in the social sciences say literally every action is motivated by self-interest, is there no room for self-sacrifice?
If we don’t have free will, could we know it? William Godwin offers some speculative answers and discusses the implications of free will.
Godwin’s next “thought on man” examines the origins of mental atrophy and urges readers to exercise their minds with steady and vigorous Socratic discussion.
Godwin expands his theories of education and intellectual development into a theory of youth and age.
Our author puts forth a romanticized, mythologized version of history to defend the claim that love is the result of imagination, inequality, and difference.
Godwin takes a linguistic turn to discuss the ethical implications “Of Frankness and Reserve” in our speech and interpersonal dealings.
Godwin recognizes the “obviousness” of voting and representation in the modern era, but carefully notes that democracy is no solution to the problem of coercion.
Godwin casts himself—and the ideal social reform advocate—as a constant missionary for reason, truth, and justice.
Advancing his own sort of self-esteem theory, Godwin concludes that healthy societies require healthy individuals who love and respect themselves.
Godwin investigates the convincing truths and falsehoods behind one of modernity’s more pernicious pseudosciences: phrenology.
Godwin embraces Enlightenment skepticism and chastises modern astronomers for pretending to be a new oracular class.
Godwin argues that philosophers and scientists should discover themselves and their own immediate world before casting about the galaxy.
Our author holds that individuals are universes-in-themselves, and social interactions allow for truly cosmic exchanges of intelligence and emotion.
For his concluding essay, Godwin argues that humanity’s full potential will be reached by a right-thinking, right-doing “remnant.”
Jackson’s message looms large in the libertarian memory of early American history, but how often do we stop to interrogate his motivations?
In our final portion from Jackson’s veto message, the president denies the Court’s authority to constrain his will and affirms states’ rights to monopoly banking.
William Lloyd Garrison argues that slavery was a direct violation of each person’s ownership of himself.