Freedom Paradox

Towards a post-secular ethics

Clive Hamilton
AUD $27.99
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A radical reconsideration of the meaning of freedom and morality in the modern world.

Why is it so many of us lack contentment, despite all the wealth and freedoms we enjoy?

The past two centuries delivered individual and political freedoms that promised unprecedented opportunities for personal fulfilment. Yet citizens of affluent countries are encouraged to pursue lives of consumerism, endless choice and the pleasures of the body.

Clive Hamilton argues that the paradox of modern consumer life is that we are deprived of our inner freedom by our very pursuit of our own desires. He turns to metaphysics to find a source of transformation that lies beyond the cultural, political and social philosophies that form the bedrock of contemporary western thought.

His search takes him to an unexpected conclusion: that we cannot be truly free unless we commit ourselves to a moral life. The implications of this conclusion are profound, and they challenge many deeply held beliefs in modern secular society.

The Freedom Paradox is a bold and important work that goes to the heart of what it means to be human.

Author bio:

Clive Hamilton is one of Australia's leading thinkers, and author of the bestsellers Requiem for a Species, Affluenza and Growth Fetish.

Category: Current Affairs & Politics
ISBN: 9781742375786
Awards: Short-listed ACT Book of the Year 2009 AU
Table Of Contents: Acknowledgments


PART ONE Freedom reconsidered

1 The disappointment of liberalism

2 Rationale

3 Types of happiness

4 Freedom and happiness

5 Types of liberty

6 Inner freedom

7 Do we prefer what we choose?

8 Self-deception and akrasia

9 A digression on the ethic of consent

10 Exercising inner freedom

11 Subtle coercion

12 The decline of free will

13 From political philosophy to metaphysics

PART TWO Philosophical foundations

14 The need for metaphysics

15 Consciousness and the subject

16 Phenomenon and noumenon

17 The 'legislation for nature'

18 Scientific thinking

19 Knowing and being

20 Instances of non-sensible intuition

21 The noumenon and the Self

22 A digression on the existence of God

23 On death

PART THREE Towards a post-secular ethics

24 Modern moral anxiety

25 Moral relativism

26 Reconstructing a moral code

27 Rationalist ethics

28 Genuine philanthropy

29 The moral self

30 Emotions as judgments

31 Further thoughts

32 Avatars of virtue

33 Egoism and malice

34 Eternal justice

PART FOUR Moral judge or moral adviser?

35 Becoming good

36 The theory in practice

37 Suicide

38 Sex

39 Nature

PART FIVE Freedom rediscovered

40 The ground of inner freedom

41 Finding inner freedom

42 The individual and the collective

43 Aesthetics

44 Happiness reconsidered

45 The human condition


Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: February 2011
Page Extent: 408
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Social issues & processes