Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Ph.D.

TOTAL FREEDOM

TOWARD A DIALECTICAL LIBERTARIANISM

REVIEWS

GREGORY R. JOHNSON, THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW 6, no. 3 (WINTER 2002): 460-63.


Johnson writes:  "Chris Matthew Sciabarra's Total Freedom is a splendid and ambitious defense of an original and surprising thesis:  that a dialectical libertarianism is not a contradiction in terms.  Sciabarra argues that libertarians too can think dialectically while still remaining libertarians."  Though Johnson criticizes the organization of Sciabarra's chapters and the abstract quality of some of the discussion, he argues that "Total Freedom is obligatory reading for libertarian philosophers and social scientists who are concerned with methodological issues.  Sciabarra is an original thinker and an impressively accomplished scholar.  In particular, the chapters on Rothbard are the most thoroughly researched, probing, and intelligent treatment of Rothbard's thought ever written.  They are the most successful part of Total Freedom and might easily stand on their own.  Indeed, Total Freedom is a very good book, but it might have been two great ones:  a book on the method and content of dialectical social theory and a book on Murray Rothbard.  If these two projects had been separated and given room to breathe and grow, both would have become well-rounded wholes.  Joined together, however, they make Total Freedom less than the sum of its parts."

Gregory R. Johnson

Atlanta, Georgia


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