Community of the Free, by Yves Simon
Presented with John Dewey’s A Common Faith—a faith independent of sect, class, or creed—Santayana is supposed to have remarked, “a very common faith indeed.” Yves Simon’s Community of the Free may be described as a very exclusive faith—one that requires rigid unanimity in dogma and philosophy to be persuasive or even intelligible.
Mr. Simon is a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, and his present volume is a study in political ethics in the tradition of Jacques Maritain and contemporary Catholic philosophy. It is concerned with the pervasive immorality of recent times and the “confusion of conscience” by which ordinary men have been debased. This type of inquest over the remains of “modern man” has become a familiar literary device, but Simon alters its character slightly. Instead of following the customary procedure of implicating himself in the deplorable conditions he describes, and identifying himself with the accused, Simon maintains his remoteness. He never forgets that he is the judge, not the culprit.
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