Freedom and SolidarityToward New Beginnings

Freedom and SolidarityToward New Beginnings

Fred Dallmayr

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780813165783

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky


This book explores the possibility of a transition from the modern paradigm—presently in a state of decay or disarray—toward new modes of life where freedom and solidarity would be reconciled, thus making possible a new flourishing of humanity on a global scale. However, it also acknowledges that antinomies of the past cannot quickly be exorcised by philosophical writings and that inherent conflicts in the modern paradigm may surface in virulent forms. Chapters 7 through 9 offer individual case studies that illustrate the difficulties involved in overcoming modern antinomies, especially the tension between freedom and solidarity. They look in particular at contemporary Protestant theology in its quest to reconcile human freedom with the Christian community of believers; Russian intellectual history in its difficult journey from traditional holism via totalitarianism to a precarious democratic freedom; and recent Indian philosophy as it tried to situate itself vis-à-vis traditional Hindu cosmology in its search for a viable democratic path in postcolonial India. The end of the book returns to the book’s central theme—the issue of a reconnection of freedom with social engagement—and stresses the need for new beginnings in this reconnection. Freedom and Solidarity ultimately offers that the solution to the possible derailments of freedom and solidarity into selfish narcissism and ethnocentric collectivism consists in the conception of solidarity as an open-ended, differentiated “public” and the conception of freedom as “authentic” guardianship.