From the Inside Flap
The thirteen essays in this Modern Library edition comprise a complete survey of the golden age of English philosophy. The anthology begins in the early seventeenth century with Francis Bacon's comprehensive program for the total reorganization of all knowledge; it culminates, some two hundred and fifty years later, with John Stuart Mill. The thinkers represented here are the creators of the twentieth-century world. Indebted to them is a long line of economists, sociologists, and political leaders whose work has profoundly influenced the life and thought of our own time.
Included are the excerpts from Francis Bacon's The Great Instauration
, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan
, Jeremy Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
, and John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
. The complete texts are provided for Locke's second "Treatise of Government", George Berkeley's "Treatise Concerning the Principle's of Human Knowledge", David Hume's "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" and "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion", John Gay's "Concerning the Fundamental Principle of Virtue or Morality", James Mill's "Government", and John Stuart Mill's "Utilitarianism" and "On Liberty". With an introduction as well as nine biographical prefaces by Edwin A. Burtt.
From the Back Cover
"Life, for the influential and representative British philosophers, is more valuable than knowledge. Its supreme and self-justifying end is not metaphysical insight, nor even a balanced and well-rounded wisdom concerning man and his world, but happiness....Life does not exist for the sake of knowledge; rather, knowledge exists for the sake of a happy life."
--Edwin A. Burtt