An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (Oxford World's Classics)
'To a rational being there can be but one rule of conduct,justice, and one mode of ascertaining that rule, the exercise ofhis understanding.'Godwin's Political Justice is the founding text of philosophicalanarchism. Written in the immediate aftermath of the FrenchRevolution, it exemplifies the political optimism felt by manywriters and intellectuals. Godwin drew on enlightenment ideas andhis background in religious dissent for the principles of justice,utility, and the sanctity of individual judgement that drove hispowerful critique of all forms of secular and religious authority.He predicts the triumph of justice and equality over injustice, andof mind over matter, and the eventual vanquishing of human frailtyand mortality. He also foresees the gradual elimination ofpractices governing property, punishment, law, and marriage and thedisplacement of politics by an expanded personal morality resultingfrom reasoned argument and candid discussion. Political Justiceraises deep philosophical questions about the nature of our duty toothers that remain central to modern debates on ethics andpolitics. This edition reprints the first-edition text of 1793, andexamines Godwin's evolving philosophy in the context of his lifeand work.ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics hasmade available the widest range of literature from around theglobe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment toscholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth ofother valuable features, including expert introductions by leadingauthorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-datebibliographies for further study, and much more.