Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

A History of Freedom of Thought

Cover image for


Author: J.B. Bury
Published: 1913
Language: English
Wordcount: 54,612 / 173 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 49.5
LoC Category: B
Downloads: 1,782
Added to site: 2006.06.11 13720
Genre: Philosophy

r. The term is limited to the field of theology, because it was in that field that the self-assertion of reason was most violently and pertinaciously opposed. In the same way free thought, the refusal of thought to be controlled by any authority but its own, has a definitely theological reference. Throughout

[19] the conflict, authority has had great advantages. At any time the people who really care about reason have been a small minority, and probably will be so for a long time to come. Reason’s only weapon has been argument. Authority has employed physical and moral violence, legal coercion and social displeasure. Sometimes she has attempted to use the sword of her adversary, thereby wounding herself. Indeed the weakest point in the strategical position of authority was that her champions, being human, could not help making use of reasoning processes and the result was that they were divided among themselves. This gave reason her chance. Operating, as it were, in the enemy’s camp and pro

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****

This 1913 work anticipated the later, 1921 work, THE IDEA OF PROGRESS. This earlier work is good,but a bit uneven. Bury's optimistic philosophy of history mirrored the general optimism of the time -- that the overall rise of reason and toleration was taking inexorable hold of the whole of Western Culture. Overall it is not as satisfying as the works of H.E.W. Leckey on the same topics. Still worth a read. It is interesting that Bury did not seem to take any notice of either the coming or the effects of WW1.



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

Henderson Smith
Award-winning screenplay writer Henderson Smith has always been fascinated by fairy tales. Today she chats with us about her book, "The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood." She explains why she made her princess ugly, why she finds the original fairy tales so enchanting and how her heart is ruled by a certain papichuahua.
Read full interview...