An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness.

An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness.
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London: Robinson, 1796. 2 vols., 8vo, xxii, 464; x, 545 pp. A lovely retrospective binding by Trevor Lloyd of speckled calf, with backstrip panelled in gilt and with gilt-stamped red and green labels. Second edition. Godwin published three editions of Political Justice, the first in 1793, the second in 1796, and the third in 1798. “There are considerable differences between the three editions. The order of the argument was rearranged. The title was changed. Some of his bolder speculations were dropped; others were more heavily qualified.” Enraged by Burke’s attack on the philosophy of the French Revolution and Thomas Paine, Godwin determined to lay down first principles to apply the philosphy behind the Revolution. Godwin’s Political Justice is “one of the earliest, the clearest, and most absolute expositions of socialist and anarchist doctrines. Godwin’s passionate advocacy of individualism, his trust in the fundamental goodness of man, and his opposition to all restrictions on liberty, have endured” (PMM 243). (Item Id: 5160)

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