Edinburgh Review,  1 (1802–03), 24–26.

Art. III. [Review of Thoughts Occasioned by the Perusal of Dr. Parr's Spital Sermon, by William Godwin]

[Sydney Smith] *



Publications reviewed:

Godwin 1801


Utilitarianism, Mental Illness, Population, Radicalism, Medical Treatment

    Approves William Godwin's recantation of the principle 'that general utility should be made the immediate motive to our actions', and his comments on particular and general affections (25). Observes that, having read so far, he had hoped 'that a radical cure had been effected' for Godwin's complaint, but that on reading his remarks on population the 'delusion was dispelled', and he concluded that Godwin's was a 'case for life'. Godwin's expedients for counteracting 'the bad effects of excessive population, (so ably pointed out by Mr. Malthus,) are, abortion and child-murder'. In consequence, suggests to Godwin 'the infinite importance of shaving and blistering the crown of his head, of keeping the primæ viæ open, and of strictly pursuing an antiphlogistic regimen. By these means, we have some times seen the understandings of great philosophers wonderfully and rapidly improved'. (26)

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