The Free Market Existentialist
: William Irwin
EXISTENTIALIST is unique because it is the first existentialist defense of
libertarianism, bringing together two approaches that traditionally have been
viewed as incompatible. Existentialists emphasize the importance of
subjectively choosing one’s values and determining the meaning of one’s life.
Libertarians champion strong property rights and the individual’s prerogative
to live in any way that does not cause harm to others. Ultimately,
individualism is the link between existentialism and libertarianism, producing
a philosophy that values freedom and a corresponding responsibility.
is the ideal balancing agent, the perfect partner for capitalism, allowing us
to reap the benefits of a free market while encouraging us to resist crass
existentialist must take the responsibility to choose work that he or she finds
meaningful rather than aimlessly drifting into work that is alienating.
is tantamount to theft and should be repealed. Instead, an “equal tax” policy
is a better alternative, wherein the state is conceived as a club in which
members pay equal dues for equal benefits.
theory fits with existentialism to help us confront the “final delusion” of
largely replace the motivating role of conventional morality.
but aiming to start one, Irwin proposes free market existentialism as a new
competitor in the marketplace of ideas.
accessible prose, The Free Market Existentialist begins an important
conversation for the 21st century that will be of interest to scholars,
students, and the general public alike.
non-fiction. Author, who calls himself an
existentialist, tries to put forth a conglomeration of free market and
existentialism. During the first part of the book, author quotes several
advocates of existentialism in the beginning. Nevertheless, his views are more
concentrated around Sartre and his Existential Marxism. He shows us how Sartre evolved towards Marxism through his books Being and Nothingness, Critical
Dialectical etc. Author argues that Sartre’s inclination is towards two different disciplines. This part of the book is quite informative about the
history of existentialism. It is written in a systematic manner. Later when
author tried to put forth his views, we get another picture or outlook, I would
existentialism, I had a doubt about the validity of existentialism in terms of
morality. Then I came across the chapter wherein the author explains moral anti-realism. The chapter comes
at the right time in tune with the reader’s mental process but at some points,
author lost the grip and focus on the real subject. Later he changes the focus
to capitalism, consumerism, and the free market possibility. Even while
advocating a free market existentialism, the thought of minimal government made
me think that he is a core existentialist. But this has nothing to do with the
quality of the book. Hence, I would not count it as a negative.
that the book will convince the reader to become a free market existentialist
but the book will definitely evoke a debate or argument on the topic and maybe
we could find an optimal solution.
quite professional and maintains the academic standards. The research put in by
the author is tremendous. The book is a quite informative and thought provoking
one and it would definitely be in the shelves of the lovers of the similar
analysis and a thought provoking elucidation of the philosophy of Existentialism
in the free market scenario.
About the Author
William Irwin is Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor and
Chair of Philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of
Intentionalist Interpretation and scholarly articles on Sartre, Nietzsche, and
Heidegger. Irwin originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books
with Seinfeld and Philosophy in 1999 and is currently the General Editor of The
Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy
from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a
positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.