Few ideas in the history of mankind can be said to have been as influential as that of 'freedom' or 'liberty'. Since the time of Hobbes, it has been the subject of rhetoric, political and legal reform, and even revolution, and has come to represent the primary social principle in the Western world, through the ascendency of the doctrine of liberalism. 'Freedom' and 'liberty' (generally understood as synonymous terms) has become the standard by which all authority has come to be judged, and has been critically employed to condemn facism, totalitarianism and despotism alike, as well as being appealed to in justification of economic doctrines totalitarianism and despotism alike, as well as being appealed to in justification of economic doctrines of quite varying hues; from Smithon 'laissez-faire' capitalism, to varieties of communism and collectivism. It has become the principal weapon in the armoury of the rhetorician, and thereby fallen open to the charge of meaning all things to all men.
|Date of Award||Dec 1991|
- Queen's University Belfast
|Supervisor||Peter Ingram (Supervisor)|