Frederick Douglass in the American Mind
This concluding chapter reflects on the debates over Douglass's legacy. Most interpreters have oversimplified Douglass's views and all attempts to draw contemporary conclusions from his nineteenth-century arguments should be chastened by a heavy dose of humility. And while it is hard to know what conclusions Douglass would come to in the philosophical and policy debates of today, we can say something about how the spirit of his thought might shape the lens through which we view contemporary political questions. Fundamentally, he directs us to think about the ways in which the liberal goal of securing the conditions necessary for the exercise of personal freedom depends upon the prevalence of a robust sense of mutual responsibility.
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