Recovering the Liberal Spirit : Nietzsche, Individuality, and Spiritual Freedom
Steven F. Pittz

Liberalism is often castigated for being spiritually empty and unable to provide meaning for individuals. Is it true that there simply is no spiritual side to liberalism? In Recovering the Liberal Spirit, Steven F. Pittz develops a novel conception of spiritual freedom. Drawing from Nietzsche and his figure of the'free spirit,'as well as from thinkers as varied as Mill, Emerson, Goethe, Hesse, C. S. Lewis, and Tocqueville, Pittz examines a tradition of individual freedom best described as spiritual. Spiritual freedom is an often overlooked category of liberal freedom, and it provides a path to meaning without a return to communal or traditional life. While carefully considering Progressive and Communitarian counterarguments Pittz argues for both the possibility and the desirability of a free-spirited life. Citizens who are'free spirits'deliver great benefits to liberal democracies, primarily by combatting dogmatism and fanaticism and the putative authority of public opinion.

SUNY Press
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