William (Christopher) Barrett Joseph J. Fahey - Essay

Joseph J. Fahey

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

"It is easy to let the age have its head; the difficulty is to keep one's own." While this quotation from G. K. Chesterton does not appear in [The Illusion of Technique], it nevertheless is the substance of its message. We live in an age fascinated with a "technology of behavior," and the consequence is that person is treated as object rather than subject. William Barrett's purpose here is to seek the meaning of person in relationship to being in technological civilization.

He posits that freedom is the philosophical question today which must be addressed if we are to avoid both a Marxist and Skinnerian conditioning of behavior, which understand person only in a technical or functional...

(The entire section is 602 words.)