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Wallace Kaufman writes about science, business, and the environment and is the author of several books including “No Turning Back: Dismantling the Fantasies of Environmental Thinking” (cultural history of the environmental movement) and “Coming Out of the Woods: The Solitary Life of a Maverick Naturalist” (memoir). He has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Bucknell. In Central Asia he served as resident adviser for housing and land reform in Kazakhstan and did economic survey work for World Bank projects. He also taught property valuation for the World Bank, for International City/County Management Association, and USAID contractors. He has participated in several Liberty Fund colloquia.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Irwin translation. Many parts of this work provide ways of looking at the relationship between the development of the mind and the role of law and regulation. Is Aristotle’s concept of greatest contentment and its liberating rewards similar to the rewards of Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and other religious conceptions of human perfection?
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. Thoreau, like Aristotle, but less systematically, explores what constitutes personal freedom. Is his conception of the free man really similar to Aristotle’s? (Thoreau scholars and followers give the possibility little attention.)
Kelton, Elmer. The Good Old Boys. Two brothers, an itinerant bachelor cowboy and a married farmer with two children, act out the conflicts between individual freedom and social order, between avoiding the responsibilities of family and possessions and embracing them, between the benefits of partaking in an economic structure and avoiding its entanglements.
Berlin, Isaiah. The Hedgehog and the Fox. Berlin’s famous essay on Tolstoy elaborate’s the Russian’s struggle to reconcile the possibility of human choice with the writer’s sense that a careful study of history and human attempts to shape it reveal that we are forever in the thrall of forces from which we cannot break free.