David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (1):63-92 (2003)
This article explores some implications of the counterfactual aspect of freedom and unfreedom. Because actions can be unprevented even if they are not undertaken, and conversely because actions can be prevented even if they are not attempted and are thus not overtly thwarted, any adequate account of negative liberty must ponder numerous counterfactual chains of events. Each person's freedom or unfreedom is affected not only by what others in fact do, but also by what they are disposed to do. Their dispositions play a key role in determining whether the abilities and inabilities of each person would continue as such if the person's conduct or situation were altered in various respects. Until one knows whether people would or would not have acted in certain ways if a given person had sought to do something, one cannot know whether that person was free to do that thing. Nor can one know whether the person was free to perform that action in combination with manifold subsequent actions. Thus, whether tacit or explicit, counterfactual scenarios are indispensable for any enquiry into a person's liberty. By relying (albeit perhaps only implicitly) on such scenarios, which trace how people are disposed to act vis-a-vis one another, one takes account of the central role of unmanifested dispositions in setting the bounds of people's sociopolitical freedom. Among the principal theorists whose work is critically examined in this article are Hillel Steiner, Ian Carter, and G.A. Cohen. Key Words: freedom liberty unfreedom negative liberty counterfactuals disposition.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gerald Lang (2012). Invigilating Republican Liberty. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):273-293.
Kevin Currie-Knight, 24. “Review of Narveson and Sterba's Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?“. [REVIEW]
Josh Rasmussen (2004). On Creating Worlds Without Evil – Given Divine Counterfactual Knowledge. Religious Studies 40 (4):457-470.
Eric Nelson (2005). Liberty: One Concept Too Many? Political Theory 33 (1):58 - 78.
Jonathan Wolff (1997). Freedom, Liberty, and Property. Critical Review 11 (3):345-357.
Boudewijn de Bruin (2010). The Liberal Value of Privacy. Law and Philosophy 29 (5):505-534.
Matthew H. Kramer (2001). On the Unavoidability of Actions: Quentin Skinner, Thomas Hobbes, and the Modern Doctrine of Negative Liberty. Inquiry 44 (3):315 – 330.
M. D. Harbour (2012). Non-Domination and Pure Negative Liberty. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (2):186-205.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #90,756 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #283,807 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?