Roy Childs comments on one of L.org’s favorite authors, William Godwin.
Woodcock discusses the classic book known “in Read’s own time as…his one original contribution to the discussion of anarchist tactics.”
The great Robert LeFevre reviews a classic of modern English literature.
A popular novelist as well as a political philosopher, William Godwin was one of the first influential writers on the topic of philosophical anarchism.
Legislators pretend to be wise, but the legislative process is ill suited to producing wisdom.
“Man is a godlike being. We launch ourselves in conceit into illimitable space, and take up our rest beyond the fixed stars.”
“There is something particularly soothing to the fancy of an erratic mind…of being conversant with a race of beings…which is unperceived by ordinary mortals.”
No class holds a monopoly on talent. Rather, “Every human creature…is endowed with talents, which…shew him to be apt, adroit, intelligent and acute.”
“There [is a contest] between the face of the earth…and the ingenuity of man…We cover immense regions of the globe with the tokens of human cultivation.”
“We spurn impatiently against the narrow limits…fixed to our aspirings, and endeavour by a multiplicity of ways to accomplish [what is] beyond the power of man.”
“I am inclined to believe, that…every human creature is endowed with talents which…shew him to be apt, adroit, intelligent and acute.”
“Man is in truth a miracle. The human mind is a creature of celestial origin, shut up and confined in a wall of flesh.”
“The obscurity of the oracles was of inexpressible service to the cause of superstition.”
“Numa met the goddess Egeria from time to time in a cave; and by her was instructed in the institutions he should give to the Romans.”
Lives of the Necromancers, Part VI: Magic and Mysticism in the “East” from Zoroaster to the Arabian Nights
“Man is every where man, possessed of the same faculties, stimulated by the same passions…with similar hopes and fears, aspirations and alarms.”
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 expands his theories of education and intellectual development into a theory of youth and age.
Our author holds that individuals are universes-in-themselves, and social interactions allow for truly cosmic exchanges of intelligence and emotion.