This is an elegant and studied little volume, rather more difficult than it lets on. Flathman wants to argue that liberals are sorely in need of a more robust understanding of the will and individuality than they now possess, that they (or we) should be enthusiastically embracing what might seem to be some tendentious commitments about the partial but inescapable opacity of other selves. He does so by working through a large number of texts and authors-some only contentiously called liberal (Hobbes); others not conceivably liberal (William of Ockham, Augustine, Nietzsche); and still others not obviously interested in anything narrowly political at all (Wittgenstein, William James). The exegeses, sometimes dense and always deft, are aimed at excavating and reclaiming that robust understanding we allegedly lack. So they are not in the first instance intended for, say, Hobbes scholars or James scholars.
Herzog, Donald J. Review of Willful Liberalism: Voluntarism and Individuality in Political Theory and Practice, by R. E. Flathman. Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 87, no. 2 (1993): 474-5.