A Preface to Morals
by Walter Lippman

An extremely good book. It presents an intelligent philosophy for the mature modern man. It makes a strong case for the uniqueness of the modern situation. The old gods are not believable anymore, and the discoveries of science are irreversible. This knowledge, for the first time in history is widespread. The loss of faith left a void that many people are not prepared to fill, because they are not mature and "spiritual" (philosophical), and they do not know how to draw on the wisdom of the past.

Human values and emotions, which give richness to life, are being foolishly discarded by those who cannot adjust to the modern situation. The only failings of the book are: (1) he is too quick to dismiss llaisse faire liberalism and (2) he implies too much emphasis on the experimental method. Both problems stem from an apparent ignorance of Austrian economics and methodological individualism as the appropriate scientific method for social sciences.

Year Read: 1973


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