The Freedom Paradox

The Freedom Paradox : Towards a Post-secular Ethics

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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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 408 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 33.02mm | 408.23g
  • Allen & Unwin
  • St Leonards NSW, Australia
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1742375782
  • 9781742375786
  • 231,693

Review quote

""A brave and searingly honest book by a brilliant scholar. . . . please, read this book now." James Gustave Speth, author, " Red Sky at Morning"and Dean Emeritus, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on"Requiem for a Species"show more

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 ..Indexshow more

About Clive Hamilton

Clive Hamilton is the author of Requiem for a Species, Affluenza and Growth more