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The Freedom Paradox: Towards A Post-Secular Ethics

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this book, Hamilton forms a radical reconsideration of the meaning of freedom in the modern world, and a proposal for what he calls a "post-secular ethics"—an ethics to supercede the mores of the post-1968 Western world. Despite all of the personal and political freedoms we now enjoy in the West, Clive argues that our "inner freedom," our very human capacity for conside ...more
Paperback, 381 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Allen Unwin (first published 2008)
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Nov 16, 2008 added it
People are strange, when you're a stranger.
Wealth makes us lonely; porno is bad.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Ann-Marie by:
I'd be the first to admit that my knowledge on the topic of philosophy is pretty scanty. Therefore, it's entirely possible that much of what was discussed in this book had another level that I was missing. However, about half-way, I couldn't shake the suspicion that there was some literary sleight-of-hand going on. Some statements seemed arrived at with dubious cognitive leaps that had me scratching my head. Whilst there was much that was interesting in this book, the claim that religion wasn't ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not too long ago I picked up Clive Hamilton's, Freedom Paradox: Towards A Secular Ethics

I picked it up assuming it would be trash, then I read the preface and was given some hope. The entire point of the book is basically that there must be an objective morality, that we can discover and ground outside the claims of higher authority and secret knowledge presented by religion.

After having finished the book a few weeks ago, I think it is fairly well written and mostly well argued, but I feel like
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about a moral theory grounded in the metaphysics of empathy: we all share the same Origin.
There are two types of manifestations of this metaphysical empathy: compassion (ie, care) and the will to justice (ie, fairness).
The ethical position derived from the author’s theory has the grounds to deny moral relativism and theology, and is argued in a compelling way. Unfortunately, the author spends little to no time elaborating on specific guidelines that might arise from his proposed “p
Hamilton borrows a philosophical stance from Schopenhauer, who is similar in many respects to Immanuel Kant and builds a system of Ethics from this. An interesting way to get to a kind of mundane conclusion. He tries to tie the book up with our current consumer culture and it's inherent evils however he doesn't give enough explanation in my opinion to warrant some of the links he creates. Taken from a strictly philosophical standpoint the book was interesting and presented me with a different wa ...more
Simon Mittag
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Freedom of choice hasn't made us any happier? Incredible analysis of western society and obviously the authors attempt to build something meaningful on top of Kant, Nietzsche. Read if you are a philosophy enthusiast but maybe not as the first book on the subject. Hard to digest and I often had to pause to think about what the last pages were all about. Definite text book feel with little consideration for accessibility. Don't let this detract you, it's worth it. ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Showed great promise: interesting subject, well written, clear and concise - then disappointment set in. The digression into noumenon was rather long(-winded), his examples of it seemed tenuous. The book as a whole came uncomfortably close to self-help territory and it felt theistic at times. Hamilton made sense most of the time but he made a few assumptions that I could not, or would not, make.

Caveat lector.
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, to-buy
Wow! I loved this book. I'm definitely going to read it again. It combines my passions: metaphysics, moral philosophy, frugality, and spirituality. I found it was an absolute pleasure to read especially the introductory chapters. I can see that it could be quite heavy for those unused to philosophical text, but I loved it. One of the best books I've read in ages. ...more
Nicky Lamond
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking. The Freedom Paradox brings together different ways of thinking in a way that helps illuminate them all.

When reading through some of the metaphysics I felt like I was wading through sludge, but it's worth the perseverance as these concepts help to underpin the thesis of the book.
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible. It describes our western culture almost too perfectly. This book WILL change your outlook on the current state of our system - if it doesn't then you need to turn your brain on. It hard though to finish the book because every time I get done reading a chapter I have to read it again...its THAT good. ...more
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Good read, if flawed at times.
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Thought-provoking. Namaste.
Catharina Nawangpalupi
Aug 30, 2008 is currently reading it
I love reading Hamilton writings, from Growing Fettish, Affluenza and other papers from the Australia Institute.. This is his latest book.. more philosophical thoughts here...
I liked this but the dissertation on Kantian ethics that falls in the middle was perhaps overly long.
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Mar 08, 2009 is currently reading it
Reading it for an essay & am surprised to find I'm enjoying the thoughts it's engendering. ...more
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Clive Hamilton AM FRSA is an Australian public intellectual and Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and the Vice-Chancellor's Chair in Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University. He is a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government, and is the Founder and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute. He regula ...more

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