Freedom as Non-Domination or How to Throw the Agent Out of the Space of Reasons

Journal of Power 3 (1) (2011)
This paper analyzes agency in Pettit’s republican conception of freedom. By understanding freedom intersubjectively in terms of agency, Pettit makes an important contribution to the contemporary debate on negative liberty. At the same time, some of the presumptions about agency are problematic. The paper defends the thesis that Pettit is not able to provide the sufficient conditions for freedom as non-domination that he sets out to do. In order to show why this is the case and how we can address this shortcoming, a distinction is introduced between a thick and a thin intersubjective account of agency. It is argued that while Pettit’s freedom presupposes a thin account, he would need a thick account in order to elaborate not only the necessary but also the sufficient conditions of freedom as non-domination.
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