This volume of essays is an important introduction to the thought of one of the twentieth century's most significant yet underappreciated philosophers, Richard McKeon. The originator of philosophical pluralism, McKeon made extraordinary contributions to philosophy, to international relations, and to theory-formation in the communication arts, aesthetics, the organization of knowledge, and the practical sciences. This collection, which includes a philosophical autobiography as well as the out-of-print title essay "Freedom and History" and a previously unpublished essay on "Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic Inquiry," is a testimony to the range and systematic power of McKeon's thinking for the social sciences and the humanities.
At the time of his death in 1985, Richard McKeon was the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Philosophy and Greek at the University of Chicago, where he had taught since 1935. During his career he served as advisor to the United States Delegations at the first three sessions of UNESCO and was a founding member of UNESCO's International Institute of Philosophy. A prolific author, McKeon wrote eleven books and over 150 journal articles.