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The Perfectibility of Man
A reviewer of the original edition in 1970 of The Perfectibility of Man well summarizes the scope and significance of this renowned work by one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century: “Beginning with an analytic discussion of the various ways in which perfectibility has been interpreted, Professor Passmore traces its long history from the Greeks to the prese...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Liberty Fund Inc.
(first published January 1st 1972)
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Both an historical account and criticism of the idea that either humans or societies can in some sense be perfect. In the first chapter Passmore, who was an Australian philosopher, distinguishes 8 different ways in which thinkers through the ages have claimed that men and women can be perfect, moral perfection and metaphysical perfection among them. Different versions of perfectionism emphasize one or more of these 8 ways. Beginning with Plato, weaving through Christian arguments both favoring a...more