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             Western man's pursuit of liberty has been constant. Indeed, the concept of liberty is central to Western political thought and history. The following essays, which were the first of the Goodrich Lecture Series at Wabash College, examine the concept of liberty as it has been understood from antiquity through the twentieth century. Since they were delivered, some of the essays have been modified, but the original thrust of the lecture series has been preserved. It is fitting that these lectures focused on this concept which was so important to Mr. Pierre Goodrich, in whose honor this lecture series was created. Mr. Goodrich founded Liberty Fund Inc., a foundation given over to the programmatic and philosophic study of society made up of free and responsible individuals. The value of such studies reflects Mr. Goodrich's understanding of the difficult problems raised in advancing and defending human liberty.
             These essays examine the meaning given to the concept of liberty in selected.
             periods of Western history. They demonstrate that Western man, in the pursuit of liberty, has concerned himself in every historical epoch with this concept as he attempted to define, implement, and, most importantly, understand it. Free will, that quality which characterizes the uniqueness of human beings, is evidenced in their acts, behaviors, and choices. However, this fact does not mean that human behavior, thought, and choice have unchanging purpose or content since such free choices are within the power of the individual and are conditioned by the circumstances in which individuals operate. Consequently, historical examination of this concept provides an outline for the inquiry made regarding the nature of liberty "its definition, its implementation, and its value. Professor Rufus Fears's essay opens this unique collection by examining the concept of liberty in Republican Rome and its transformation from the period of the Republic to the Empire.

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