Sowell, an economist and author (The Economics and Politics of Race,etc.), presents a provocative analysis of the conflicting visions ofhuman nature that have shaped the moral, legal and economic life ofrecent times. For the past 200 years, he writes, two visions ofor "gutfeelings" abouthow the world works, have dominated: the constrainedvision, which views man as unchanged, limited and dependent on evolvedsocial processes (market economies, constitutional law, etc.); and theunconstrained vision, which argues for man's potential andperfectability, and the possibility of rational planning for socialsolutions. Examining the views of thinkers who reflect theseconstrained (Adam Smith) and unconstrained (William Godwin) visions,Sowell shows how these powerful and subjective visions give rise tocarefully constructed social theories. His discussion of how theseconflicting attitudes ultimately produce clashes over equality, socialjustice and other issues is instructive.