Frasi di William Godwin

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William Godwin

Data di nascita: 3. Marzo 1756
Data di morte: 7. Aprile 1836

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William Godwin è stato un filosofo, scrittore e politico libertario britannico.

Pensatore del tardo illuminismo , radicale e repubblicano, è considerato uno dei primi teorizzatori anarchici moderni. Sua moglie fu la scrittrice Mary Wollstonecraft, antesignana del femminismo e dei diritti delle donne, autrice di Rivendicazione dei diritti della donna. La loro figlia fu Mary Godwin, nota, dopo il matrimonio con il poeta Percy Bysshe Shelley come Mary Shelley autrice del romanzo Frankenstein.

L'opera più celebre di Godwin è il saggio Inchiesta sulla giustizia politica.

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Frasi William Godwin

„Mind modifies body involuntarily.“

—  William Godwin
Context: Let us here return to the sublime conjecture of Franklin, that “mind will one day become omnipotent over matter.” If over all other matter, why not over the matter of our own bodies? If over matter at ever so great a distance, why not over matter which, however ignorant we may be of the tie that connects it with the thinking principle, we always carry about with us, and which is in all cases the medium of communication between that principle and the external universe? In a word, why may not man be one day immortal? The different cases in which thought modifies the external universe are obvious to all. It is modified by our voluntary thoughts or design. We desire to stretch out our hand, and it is stretched out. We perform a thousand operations of the same species every day, and their familiarity annihilates the wonder. They are not in themselves less wonderful than any of those modifications which we are least accustomed to conceive. — Mind modifies body involuntarily. Vol. 2, bk. 8, ch. 7

„It has an unhappy effect upon the human understanding and temper, for a man to be compelled in his gravest investigation of an argument, to consider, not what is true, but what is convenient.“

—  William Godwin
Context: It has an unhappy effect upon the human understanding and temper, for a man to be compelled in his gravest investigation of an argument, to consider, not what is true, but what is convenient. The lawyer never yet existed who has not boldly urged an objection which he knew to be fallacious, or endeavoured to pass off a weak reason for a strong one. Intellect is the greatest and most sacred of all endowments; and no man ever trifled with it, defending an action to-day which he had arraigned yesterday, or extenuating an offence on one occasion, which, soon after, he painted in the most atrocious colours, with absolute impunity. Above all, the poet, whose judgment should be clear, whose feelings should be uniform and sound, whose sense should be alive to every impression and hardened to none, who is the legislator of generations and the moral instructor of the world, ought never to have been a practising lawyer, or ought speedily to have quitted so dangerous an engagement. The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer vol. 1, p. 370 (1803)

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„Above all, the poet, whose judgment should be clear, whose feelings should be uniform and sound, whose sense should be alive to every impression and hardened to none, who is the legislator of generations and the moral instructor of the world, ought never to have been a practising lawyer, or ought speedily to have quitted so dangerous an engagement.“

—  William Godwin
Context: It has an unhappy effect upon the human understanding and temper, for a man to be compelled in his gravest investigation of an argument, to consider, not what is true, but what is convenient. The lawyer never yet existed who has not boldly urged an objection which he knew to be fallacious, or endeavoured to pass off a weak reason for a strong one. Intellect is the greatest and most sacred of all endowments; and no man ever trifled with it, defending an action to-day which he had arraigned yesterday, or extenuating an offence on one occasion, which, soon after, he painted in the most atrocious colours, with absolute impunity. Above all, the poet, whose judgment should be clear, whose feelings should be uniform and sound, whose sense should be alive to every impression and hardened to none, who is the legislator of generations and the moral instructor of the world, ought never to have been a practising lawyer, or ought speedily to have quitted so dangerous an engagement. The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer vol. 1, p. 370 (1803)

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