Philosophy and Public Policy


Like John Dewey, his mentor and friend, Sidney Hook shares the classic conception of philosophy as the pursuit of wisdom. A philosopher is concerned ultimately with the conception of the good life in a good society.

In these essays extending over many years, Hook illustrates the activity of the philosopher in the cave of social life. He brings to bear the tools of reflective analysis on dominant social and political issues: human rights; the role of personality and leadership in history; the attempt to defend freedom as we seek to preserve and extend the welfare state; and a criticism of the common premise of historical materialism shared by both Marxists and their opponents.

Most significantly, Hook addresses the relation between morality and religion and the place of religion in democratic society. A secular and naturalistic humanism, he contends, generates an authentic, reliable commitment to thedemocratic faith.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Carbondale, IL
Publication year:
  • 1980