The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics

The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics


By (author) Clive Hamilton

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  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Format: Paperback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 33mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: St Leonards NSW
  • ISBN 10: 1742375782
  • ISBN 13: 9781742375786
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 182,657

Product description

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.

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Author information

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

Review quote

""Right on target and badly needed." --Noam Chomsky on" Growth Fetish

Table of contents

Acknowledgments..Preface..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 ..Notes ..Index