Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thoughts on The Constitution of Liberty So Far: Discussion of Freedom, Reason and Tradition

I am now reading another book by Hayek because I found his view to be very interesting.

And now when I am onto Chapter 4: Freedom, Reason, and Tradition, my mind are suddenly flooded with thoughts and ideas.

A lot of people in Taiwan, including me, think that Taiwan needs more importation of western ideas in the social and political area for further improvement. And indeed, I sense that quite some people are doing so. You can see the this in articles and talk shows etc. It's a healthy thing in my opinion.

But when I start reading that chapter I realize more clearly that, which western idea? There are many different ones and which one do I prefer? The book divide the 18th century European philosophers into 2 basic groups: empiricist and rationalist. It's too much to describe here what they are etc. But basically the author prefer empiricist's view and argue that they are the one that truly understand Liberty, and so far I agree and think his argument makes a lot of sense.

A lot of my thought relating to Taiwan starts to flood in when the chapter starts to talk about difference between empiricist and rationalist views on moral and tradition etc. This thought is quite a complex subject for me to write, and they are still disorganized. Perhaps I will sort it out more clearly later and write them down. But here I would just say they are related to the problem of Confucius philosophy and why I think they are problems, and comparing the western one with other eastern philosophy like Tou philosophy.

Another thing that flooded my mind is I think, as I am reading the chapter, that Taiwan's "peaceful revolution" and transition to democracy in the past decade actually resemble more closely to the empiricist view. This actually gives me more hope for Taiwan's future development.

Another interesting thing is one of leading figure of empiricist is Adam Smith (more famous for his work the Wealth of Nation), a Scottish moral philosopher (surprisingly not economist). I always thought this guy has a very keen observation when I was reading the Wealth of Nation, which I haven't finished reading because it's freaking thick. But definitely I might want to look more into this guy later if I have time. I think he has another book less known that actually talks about moral philosophy.

No comments:

Post a Comment