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Free Persons and the Common Good Hardcover – June 1, 1988

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Madison Books; 1St Edition edition (June 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819164992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819164995
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,898,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Novak, retired George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy from the American Enterprise Institute, is an author, philosopher, and theologian. Michael Novak resides in Ave Maria, Florida as a trustee and visiting professor at Ave Maria University.

Ever since The Open Church hit shelves in 1964, Michael Novak has been a voice of insight on American and Catholic culture. Author of more than 45 books on culture, philosophy, and theology, Novak continues to influence and guide right thinking. Winner of the 1994 Templeton Prize, Novak's Westminster Abbey address remains as instructive it was two decades ago. As a founding director of First Things and writer for many publications, Novak has sought to build up our institutions.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Blosser on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover


Solving A Key Puzzle: How to Reconcile the Incommensurable Value of Person with the Common Good? (Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1989). This work seeks to bridge the gap between liberalism and the Catholic notion of the "common good" by showing that the liberal tradition includes a vision of the common good, a vision both historically original and crucial to its defense of the human person. Too often, the liberal tradition is discussed wholly in terms of the individual, the rational economic agent, self-interest, and something like the utilitarian calculus. On the other side, too often the classical view of the common good is presented as though it did not respect the freedom of the human person, the rights of the individual, and the unique properties of the many different spheres through which the common good is cumulatively realized. Yet the liberal tradition has in fact greatly expanded and enriched the concept of the common good. And the Catholic tradition - through its distinctive concepts of the person, will, self-deception, virtue, practical wisdom, "the dark night of the soul," and insight itself - has thickened and enriched our under-standing of the individual. On matters of institutional realism, the liberal tradition has made discoveries that the Catholic tradition sorely needs; reciprocally, regarding certain philosophical-theological conceptions, the Catholic tradition has achieved some insights (e.g., into the nature of the human person, the human community, and mediating institutions) in which many in the liberal intellectual tradition are now expressing interest. The two traditions need each other, each being weaker where the other is stronger.
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