Thursday, February 11, 2010

New book on the History of Liberty

A Brief History of Liberty

by David Schmidtz & Jason Brennan

(Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 280 pp.


Through a fusion of philosophical, social scientific, and historical methods, "A Brief History of Liberty" provides a comprehensive, philosophically-informed portrait of the elusive nature of one of our most cherished ideals.

Liberty' appears to a refer to a cluster of related things. This work of avowedly non-ideal theory examines what institutions have tended to promote or demote different kinds of liberty and determine what good that has done for people.


Introduction: Conceptions of Freedom [preview]

1. A Prehistory of Liberty: Forty Thousand Years Ago
2. The Rule of Law: 1075 C.E.
3. Religious Freedom: 1517
4. Freedom of Commerce: 1776
5. Civil Liberty: 1954
6. Psychological Freedom, The Last Frontier: 1963

David Schmidtz is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona.

Jason Brennan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research, at Brown University.

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