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On Ordered Liberty

A Treatise on the Free Society

Samuel Gregg

Perhaps no issue is more divisive among philosophers, jurists and theologians than the nature of human liberty. Liberty is central to the claims of the Christian Gospel, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the American Revolution. But discussions about the nature of freedom have been characterized by profound disagreement and unsettling questions. What does it mean to be free? Is freedom worth more than mens' lives? Why should man be free? What, if any, legitmate responsibilities accompany freedom? These subjects are that the heart of Samuel Gregg's new book On Ordered Liberty. Beginning with the insights of Alexis de Tocqueville and some natural law theorists, Gregg suggests that something which he terms 'integral law' must be distinguished from most contemporary visions of freedom. He argues that this new arrangement requires a complete repudiation of utilitarian ideas on the grounds that they are incompatable with human nature. He also recommends a new and more rigorous focus on the basic but often neglected-question: what is man? On Ordered Liberty goes beyond the liberal and conservative divide, asking its readers to think about the proper ends of human choice and actions in a free society. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 144Size: 0 x 0
978-0-7391-0622-8 • Hardback • July 2003 • $79.00 • (£52.95)
978-0-7391-0668-6 • Paperback • July 2003 • $36.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7391-5840-1 • eBook • July 2003 • $34.99 • (£23.95)
Samuel Gregg is the Director of Research at the Acton Institute and the author of several books on morality, economics, politlcs and philosophy. He is the editor of Lexington's Studies in Ethics and Economics series.

Chapter 1 The Case for Liberty
Chapter 2 Contra Ratio: John Stuart Mill
Chapter 3 The Drama of Human Freedom
Chapter 4 Law and Liberty
Chapter 5 Whither the State?
Chapter 6 Little Platoons
Chapter 7 Reflections of a Catholic Whig
The book is well written and from the author's Australian pen flows an elegant style. . . . A final word about this edition of the book, it only merits praise.....

This concise introduction to the principles of the free society provides a welcome antidote to the unreflective relativism that dominates important currents of contemporary academic moral and political philosophy. Samuel Gregg's elegantly written treatiseis in the best conservative liberal tradition and is studded with revealing quotations from the likes of Burke, Tocqueville, Guizot, and Ropke. In the spirit of his great predecessors, Gregg's book combines genuine attachment to personal and political liberty with an equally fulsome appreciation of the ends or purposes that inform a freedom worthy of man...

Anyone who wants to be informed on what is at stake in current policy discussions of liberty, no matter whether they occur in a local tavern or on the floor of the United States Supreme Court, should read On Ordered Liberty>