Browse By Author

Author List

Share This Title

Send this product to a friend

MUP Catalogs

Freedom and Society: Essays on Autonomy, Identity, and Political Freedom

Edited by: Yi Deng, Creighton Rosental, Robert H. Scott, Rosalind S. Simson
Product Code: P624
ISBN: 9780881467871
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $35.00

In order to preserve and ensure the vitality of freedom and democracy in democratic societies, it is important that citizens reflect deeply on the meaning of freedom and the conditions necessary to sustain it. The idea for this volume arose from discussions at the February 2019 annual meeting of the Georgia Philosophical Society held at Mercer University on the theme of "Freedom and Society," and drafts of many of the chapters were first presented there. Including contributions from both early-career and well-known scholars, the chapters are tied together by questions about the nature of political freedom and autonomy in democratic societies and about the ways in which the enactment of democratic freedom depends on awareness of and engagement with freedom's underlying conditions. These conditions include social responsibility, creative innovation, and strong democratic institutions. Other recurring themes in the volume include the pitfalls of atomistic models of autonomy and the importance of giving due consideration to intersubjectivity, embodiment, and plurality as integral elements of a free society. Countering models centered exclusively on negative freedom, (i.e. freedom from constraints imposed by others), several chapters highlight the crucial roles of social responsibility and creativity in confronting obstructions to freedom, such as systemic racism and other challenges currently facing democracies. Finally, several chapters emphasize the fundamental importance of strong and just democratic institutions as the primary means of reliably expressing the will of the people.
Bookmark and Share


Review by: Piers H.G. Stephens, University of Georgia - March 1, 2021
"The assumption that negative freedom, especially in economic affairs, is and should be the predominant conception of human liberty is pervasive in contemporary Western political life. However, this assumption is challenged in multiple ways by current developments: environmental and health crises, the rise of populism and identity politics, increasing inequality, new technologies, and the ongoing depletion of faith in liberal democracy all raise serious questions for the supposedly triumphant neoliberal project. This timely and impressive essay collection, incorporating the writings of a diversity of rising thinkers, examines the range of these questions as well as raising historical and philosophical critiques of their roots. Hats off to the editors for a volume that draws together, highlights, and intelligently explores such a vital range of reflections on freedom at such an important and challenging moment."
Review by: Mark Jones, professor of Law, Mercer University - March 1, 2021
"This rich collection of essays engages with several 'hot button' topics, including the Covid-19 pandemic, anti-pluralist populism, same sex marriage and religious liberty, systemic racism, the situation of various oppressed communities, using killer robots in warfare, and the tension between localism and globalism. The essays also explore the broader and deeper issues necessarily implicated in these topics, collectively demonstrating how the responsible exercise of freedom is conditioned by both natural forces and our immersion in a pre-existing web of social relationships and contexts (linguistic, ethical, interpersonal, economic, technological, political, legal, and institutional). Beyond this, readers will doubtless make additional connections among these stimulating contributions and discover that they respond to their individual interests and inform their individual projects in multiple ways."

Goodreads reviews