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The Freedom Paradox

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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 human.
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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

About the Author

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


""Right on target and badly needed." --Noam Chomsky on" Growth Fetish ""An interesting, open-minded reflection mercifully free from fashionable opinion, dogma or ideology." "Australian Literary Review" ""Right on target and badly needed." Noam Chomsky on" Growth Fetish" ""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"

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