Several newspapers (e.g. the Guardian
and the Telegraph
) have recently carried obituaries of the English philosopher Antony Flew. These obituaries have emphasized the remarkable change of mind by which Flew, for most of his life an internationally renowned atheist, became convinced at the age of 81 of deism. What this emphasis has overshadowed – and what some readers of this blog may not know – is that Flew was for several decades a heroic defender of classically liberal political philosophy and indeed by far the best known professional philosopher in Britain over that period to champion classical liberalism.