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Freedom and Time – A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government - Yale Scholarship Online
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Freedom and Time: A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government

Jed Rubenfeld


Should we try to “live in the present”? Such is the imperative of modernity, according to this work of political theory. Since Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that “the earth belongs to the living”—since Sigmund Freud announced that mental health requires people to “get free of their past”—since Friedrich Nietzsche declared that the happy man is the man who “leaps” into “the moment”—modernity has directed its inhabitants to live in the present, as if there alone could they find happiness, authenticity, and above all freedom. But this imperative rests on a profoundly inadequate, deforming picture o ... More

Keywords: modernity, happiness, authenticity, freedom, time, self-government, democracy, constitutionalism, privacy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780300080483
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300080483.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jed Rubenfeld, author