By David Stack
Thomas Hodgskin used to be the most major thinkers of nineteenth-century radicalism. An lively author for over fifty years and an affiliate of Bentham and James Mill among others, his lifestyles offers a paradigm for knowing the evolution of radicalism from Waterloo to the second one Reform Act. This learn rescues him from his marginalisation and mis-casting as an `early English socialist': faraway from being a socialist, lots of his perspectives appear to mark him out as a forerunner of recent correct or neo-liberal ideology. Drawing on a variety of new resources and reassessing Hodgskin's existence and paintings, Dr Stack argues that the crux of Hodgskin's suggestion was once the primarily theological contrast he drew among nature and artifice. all through, he makes undeniable the centrality of providentialism to nineteenth-century radicalism.
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Extra info for Nature and Artifice: The Life and Thought of Thomas Hodgskin, 1787-1869 (Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series)
The greatest error of the Foxwell-Halévy-Lowenthal approach was to obscure this. Hodgskin's theological views were not tangential or secondary to the main body of his thought. They lay at the very heart of every cause he ever embraced. 26 The distinction between natural and social price arose from human intervention 24ND, pp. ixx. 25 'Science necessary laws of thought', BG, 16 Nov. 1864. 26N&A, 42. '27 Hodgskin was first and foremost a deist: a believer in God's naturally harmonious order. 28 To remove or obscure the theological component from Hodgskin's economics is to seriously misrepresent Hodgskin's view.
26N&A, 42. '27 Hodgskin was first and foremost a deist: a believer in God's naturally harmonious order. 28 To remove or obscure the theological component from Hodgskin's economics is to seriously misrepresent Hodgskin's view. Once we accept this then another central pillar of the Halévy study is rendered unsound. Halévy's biography was a by-product of his Growth of philosophic radicalism, and Halévy saw Hodgskin as of the same genre as the philosophic radicals, if a little idiosyncratic in some of his opinions.
Paine, for example, drew upon those natural law writers who derived their view of natural rights from the Creation, and emphasised that they inhered in each person as a psychological property. What was important was that the radicals were still using such theories in the nineteenth century, and thus investing Nature with a content at odds with that given it by whigs and conservatives. Nature and Progress Radicalism's Aristotelian conception of Nature infused their use of natural rights arguments with a power and relevance not found in Locke.