Liberty: All coherence gone?

?Negative? and ?positive? liberty are not distinct types of freedom. They represent distinct points of stress within the one logical matrix. The abstract logical formula for liberty is taken to be ?A is free from x to do y?, where ?from x? is taken to implicate ?to do y?, and vice versa. By contrast, concrete cases of freedom ('rights'), such as ?from hunger? or ?to speak?, are taken always to contradict other concrete cases, such as property rights or defences against libel, slander, or ?hate speech? more generally. As all rights are expressions of liberty, however mutually contradictory, we cannot appeal to liberty per se as a principle enabling us to mediate between them. Liberty pre?eminent, or indeed alone, seems too brittle to contain the alienation or anomie of modernity. It may now be necessary, philosophically, to decoct the glue of empathy, of friendship and, by extension, equality
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