<biography, history of philosophy> English social reformer (1756-1836) and husband of Mary Wollstonecraft. Godwin's Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Happiness (1793) and Thoughts on Man, his Nature, Productions, and Discoveries (1831) employed utilitarian principles to show the corrupting influence of government and to defend political anarchism. Godwin also wrote the novel The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794). Recommended Reading: The Anarchist Writings of William Godwin, ed. by Peter Marshall (Freedom, 1986); D. H. Monro, Godwin's Moral Philosophy: An Interpretation of William Godwin (Greenwood, 1980); and George Woodcock, William Godwin: A Biographical Study (Black Rose, 1989).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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