Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or for centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. The analysis of this pattern is the purpose of A Conflict of Visions. its theme is that the enduring political controversies of the past two centuries reflect radically different visions of the nature of man. Issues as diverse as criminal justice, income distribution, or war and peace repeatedly show those with one vision lining up on one side and those with another vision lining up on the other.Dr. Thomas Sowell describes A Conflict of Visions as "the culmination of thirty years of work in the history of ideas"--a field in which he established his professional reputation years before writing any of his well-known books on ethnicity and other social issues. Dr. Sowell and his books have received a nember of awards and honors, and have been translated into several languages. He has been a consultant to three administrations of both parties, as well as scholar-in-residence at three "think tanks." He is now a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, California.
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Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.From Publishers Weekly:
Sowell, an economist and author (The Economics and Politics of Race, etc.), presents a provocative analysis of the conflicting visions of human nature that have shaped the moral, legal and economic life of recent times. For the past 200 years, he writes, two visions ofor "gut feelings" abouthow the world works, have dominated: the constrained vision, which views man as unchanged, limited and dependent on evolved social processes (market economies, constitutional law, etc.); and the unconstrained vision, which argues for man's potential and perfectability, and the possibility of rational planning for social solutions. Examining the views of thinkers who reflect these constrained (Adam Smith) and unconstrained (William Godwin) visions, Sowell shows how these powerful and subjective visions give rise to carefully constructed social theories. His discussion of how these conflicting attitudes ultimately produce clashes over equality, social justice and other issues is instructive.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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