The Principles of Ethics, vol. 2 (LF ed.)

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Spencer considered The Principles of Ethics to be his finest work. In volume I he covers the data of ethics, the inductions of ethics, and the ethics of individual life. In the second volume he covers the ethics of social life (or justice), negative beneficence, positive beneficence, and a number of topics in several appendices (such as Kant’s theory of rights, land ownership, and animal rights). In the large section on “Justice” he discusses property rights, free exchange, free speech, the rights of women and children, and the nature of the state. His formula for justice is summed up in these words: “Every man is free to do that which he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.”

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The Principles of Ethics, introduction by Tibor R. Machan (Indianapolis: LibertyClassics, 1978). Vol. 2.

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