Correspondenz von Leibniz mit der Prinzessin Sophie vol III
Onno Klopp (ed)
pp 142-143

Date: 8 July 1705

Translated from the French

View this translation in PDF format (10k)

Back to home page

Search texts by keyword(s):

(For search strings, just type the words; don't use quotation marks)


[K III p142]

     Extract from my letter to Mr Falaiseau, who recommended to me the books by Mr Sidney and Mr Locke on government.

     The book by the late Mr Algernon Sidney is well known to me, as well as what the late Mr Locke wrote against Filmer, [K III p143] and what he himself sent to me. Every man of good sense must acknowledge that government is for the common good. My definition of the state, or of what among the Latins is called the Commonwealth, is a great society of which the goal is common security. It would be hoped that one could obtain for men something more than security, namely happiness, and one must apply oneself to that; but security is at least essential, and without it the good stops. This is why subjects are allowed to take the oath of fidelity to the enemy of their master who has conquered them, their master no longer being able to do anything for their security. I will be delighted, Sir, to have your judgement on these thoughts, for you have knowledge of the present state of the world together with knowledge of history and of good principles.

© Lloyd Strickland 2005