Through a fusion of philosophical, social scientific, and historical methods, A Brief History of Liberty provides a comprehensive, philosophically-informed portrait of the elusive nature of one of our most cherished ideals. Offers a succinct yet thorough survey of personal freedom Explores the true meaning of liberty, drawing philosophical lessons about liberty from history Considers the writings of key historical figures from Socrates and Erasmus to Hobbes, Locke, Marx, and Adam Smith Combines philosophical rigor with social scientific analysis Argues that liberty refers to a range of related but specific ideas rather than limiting the concept to one definition
David Schmidtz is Kendrick Professor of Philosophy, joint Professor of Economics, and Director of the Freedom Center at the University of Arizona. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Philosophy , Ethics , and Political Theory . Jason Brennan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research, at Brown University, and a faculty associate of the Political Theory Project at Brown University. His articles have appeared in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research , The Australasian Journal of Philosophy , and Ratio .
Acknowledgments vii Introduction: Conceptions of Freedom 1 1 A Prehistory of Liberty: Forty Thousand Years Ago 30 2 The Rule of Law: ad 1075 60 3 Religious Freedom: 1517 93 4 Freedom of Commerce: 1776 120 5 Civil Liberty: 1954 169 6 Psychological Freedom, the Last Frontier: 1963 208 Bibliography 244 Index 261