ISSUES OF FREEDOM by Herbert J. Muller


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In this latest title in the World Perspectives series, the author of The Uses of the Past and The boom of History sets out to examine rational Man's right to, and use of, Freedom. One of the possible definitions of Freedom is ""the condition of being able to choose and carry out purposes"". Next he postulates that Man is not, contrary to the conservative view, the sinful throwback lurking under a polished veneer of civilition. Nor is he mature. Somewhere between these states, Man is capable of growth and change, capable too of distinguishing alternatives and choosing between them. Freedom then can be his if he strives for it. Thus the ""New Conservatives""...Babbitt, Kirk, etc....are vehemently repudiated. Through succinct views of the art, science, philosophy and so on of the West, totalitarian and deterministic philosophies also come under fire. It would seem that this is a Liberal's handbook of sorts. It is a good one. Unfortunately it lacks strong evidences and arguments for Liberalism to offset the New Conservative attack. One suspects that those who feel Man deserves a minimum of personal choice will be little swayed by it.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1959
Publisher: Harper