Freedom and Modernity

By Richard Dien Winfield

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791408100, 330 pages, November 1991
Hardcover : 9780791408094, 330 pages, November 1991

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Table of contents


A Note on the Text

Part I: Autonomous Reason

1. The Method of Autonomous Reason
2. The Ordeal of Self-Critical Critical Philosophy: Reflections on Husserl and Wittgenstein
3. Is Systematic Logic a Transcendental Ontology?
4. Conceiving Reality without Foundations
5. On Individuality

Part II: Autonomous Action

6. Morality without Community
7. The Injustice of Human Rights
8. Freedom as Interaction: Hegel's Resolution to the Dilemma of Liberal Theory
9. Hegel and the Legitimation of Modernity
10. The Dilemma of Labor
11. The Young Hegel and the Dialectic of Social Production
12. The Logic of Marx's Capital
13. The Social Determination of the Labor Process from Hegel to Marx
14. Hegel's Challenge to the Modern Economy
15. Rethinking Politics: Carl Schmitt versus Hegel
16. Political Freedom and Territorial Rights



This book questions the postmodern credo that the autonomy of reason and action is a delusion, concealing our entrapment in historical convention and masking a logocentric domination. The author shows how this dogma not only assails a false vision of self-determination, but also how it ignores the way in which a critique of rational autonomy can provide no epistemology or ethics, nor any critique of modernity, without embracing the very independence of thought and conduct that it spurns. Freedom and Modernity offers a positive alternative revealing how self-determination is the very substance of legitimacy for both knowledge and conduct.

Richard Dien Winfield is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Overcoming Foundations; The Just Economy; and Reason and Justice.


"Winfield's masterful neo-Hegelian presentation of the problems of freedom and justice and the incoherence of human or 'natural' rights, together with his analysis of the role of modern economic institutions in creating structures for justice and human flourishing, provide a fascinating new alternative to the conventional view of these problems, whether from the standpoint of liberal democratic capitalism or Marxism. Winfield addresses and redresses some of the most compelling criticisms of individuality, freedom, and the commitment to rationality in modernism as advanced by the most sophisticated post-modernist critics, including Derrida and Foucault. " — George R. Lucas, Jr. , Clemson University