A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain

By Benjamin Franklin | Go to book overview
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BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

1.

Franklin Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity was first discussed by Henry Stevens of Vermont in his Stevens's Historical Collections ( 1881), pages 161-163, but the standard bibliographical description of the book is found in Paul Leicester Ford , Franklin Bibliography, No. 5, pages 3-5. Ford's account of the book begins with the following sentences quoted from the Autobiography and from the correspondence: "At Palmer's I was employed in composing for the second edition of Wollaston 'Religion of Nature.' Some of his reasonings not appearing to me well founded, I wrote a little metaphysical piece in which I made remarks on them. It was entitled 'A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain." I inscribed it to my friend Ralph; I printed a small number. It occasion'd my being more consider'd by Mr. Palmer as a young man of some ingenuity, tho' he seriously expostulated with me upon the principles of my pamphlet, which to him appear'd abominable. My printing this pamphlet was another erratum." ( Smyth, Writings of Benjamin Franklin, I. 277-278.)

"There were only an hundred copies printed, of which I gave a few to friends, and afterwards

-v-

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