Review of Free Market Existentialist by William Irwin

Book Name             :       The Free Market Existentialist        
Author                     :       William Irwin
Publisher                 :       Wiley
Genre                      :       Non-Fiction/Philosophy
Number of Pages    :       270
Publishing Date     :       17th August 2015
Edition                    :       Kindle
ASIN                       :       B0148KMBZ4

Rating : 4.5

THE FREE MARKET EXISTENTIALIST is unique because it is the first existentialist defense of libertarianism, bringing together two approaches that traditionally have been viewed as incompatible. Existentialists emphasize the importance of subjectively choosing one’s values and determining the meaning of one’s life. Libertarians champion strong property rights and the individual’s prerogative to live in any way that does not cause harm to others. Ultimately, individualism is the link between existentialism and libertarianism, producing a philosophy that values freedom and a corresponding responsibility.


· Why existentialism is the ideal balancing agent, the perfect partner for capitalism, allowing us to reap the benefits of a free market while encouraging us to resist crass consumerism.

· Why a free market existentialist must take the responsibility to choose work that he or she finds meaningful rather than aimlessly drifting into work that is alienating.

· Why the income tax is tantamount to theft and should be repealed. Instead, an “equal tax” policy is a better alternative, wherein the state is conceived as a club in which members pay equal dues for equal benefits.

· How evolutionary theory fits with existentialism to help us confront the “final delusion” of objective values.

· How love and law can largely replace the motivating role of conventional morality.

Not ending a debate but aiming to start one, Irwin proposes free market existentialism as a new competitor in the marketplace of ideas.

In clear and accessible prose, The Free Market Existentialist begins an important conversation for the 21st century that will be of interest to scholars, students, and the general public alike.

My Review

The book is an adult non-fiction. Author, who calls himself an existentialist, tries to put forth a conglomeration of free market and existentialism. During the first part of the book, author quotes several advocates of existentialism in the beginning. Nevertheless, his views are more concentrated around Sartre and his Existential Marxism. He shows us how Sartre evolved towards Marxism through his books Being and Nothingness, Critical Dialectical etc. Author argues that Sartre’s inclination is towards two different disciplines. This part of the book is quite informative about the history of existentialism. It is written in a systematic manner. Later when author tried to put forth his views, we get another picture or outlook, I would say.

While learning more about existentialism, I had a doubt about the validity of existentialism in terms of morality.  Then  I came across the chapter wherein the author explains moral anti-realism. The chapter comes at the right time in tune with the reader’s mental process but at some points, author lost the grip and focus on the real subject. Later he changes the focus to capitalism, consumerism, and the free market possibility. Even while advocating a free market existentialism, the thought of minimal government made me think that he is a core existentialist. But this has nothing to do with the quality of the book. Hence, I would not count it as a negative.

 I would not say that the book will convince the reader to become a free market existentialist but the book will definitely evoke a debate or argument on the topic and maybe we could find an optimal solution.

The writing style is quite professional and maintains the academic standards. The research put in by the author is tremendous. The book is a quite informative and thought provoking one and it would definitely be in the shelves of the lovers of the similar genre.

One Liner

Detailed analysis and a thought provoking elucidation of the philosophy of Existentialism in the free market scenario.

Avail the book from Barnes and Nobles  and  Amazon

About the Author

William Irwin is Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Intentionalist Interpretation and scholarly articles on Sartre, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. Irwin originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books with Seinfeld and Philosophy in 1999 and is currently the General Editor of The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series.
​Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~   Facebook

Reviewed for the iread book tours 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


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