DIMENSIONS OF FREEDOM by Felix Oppenheim

DIMENSIONS OF FREEDOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The attempt here is to make the map of the language of political science conform more closely to the real world of social inter-action. Oppenheim believes that experimental data can be linked to the concept of freedom ""so that freedom can become a concept of empirical science."" His thesis is constructed to deal solely with social freedom -- the effects of the actions of one person or group upon others -- and he refers to other types of freedom only in passing. He contends that the time has come for someone to ""make us aware of what we are really talking about when speaking of freedom and such related ideas as unfreedom (ste) and control"". He admits that to study 'freedom' as a concept of empirical science is inordinately difficult because the subject is thoroughly permeated with emotional overtones. But, he says, ""it is precisely because political science includes value judgments that its key concepts must be defined in nonvaluational terms"". The task of so defining is stupendous, and this author falls critically short of the mark. His nine chapters are bombastic and repetitive, dry and unilluminated by any spark of life. His intent is clarity, his achievement is pomposity.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1961
Publisher: St. Martin's Press