Let us assume here the considerable value of the fullest possibilities of individual freedom, even though such notions also require considerable qualifications, as not a few utopian efforts will remind us.
Whether utopia is taken as a narrative fiction of an ideal society, as a plan for a radically different from current reality institution or community, or as a futuristic social and political vision, it may well appear to the skeptical individualist as considerably bothersome.
Obviously, this liberal view of the social function of reason remains historically shifting and therefore rather uncertain.
Several kinds of skeptic properly suspect those who would plan or otherwise dictate all too much of life under the guise of reason.
This, most libertarians would agree, provides a profoundly appropriate criticism of a presumptuous, and quite possibly ruthless, utopian rationalism.
Yet what might be called a hyper-rationalism characterizes much indeed of social-political thinking, not just the utopian.
Kingsley Widmer taught at San Diego State University and wrote on D. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Nathaniel West, Paul Goodman, Herman Melville, as well as on the issues of censorship, freedom, and culture.
4, Winter 1981 published by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. It is republished with thanks to the original copyright holders.
In contrast, liberal critical reason would more modestly create a framework of rules under which the growth of institutions beyond direct rational comprehension (the market, common law legal traditions, etc.) would be possible.
Apparently for Hayek, the liberal application of reason to society falls between constructivism and the conservative distrust of reason which emphasizes organic accretion of changes (as in Burke), if any at all, in institutions.