Reclaiming two concepts of liberty

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (3):228-246 (2013)

Abstract

The article responds to an influential critique of the view that there is a conceptual distinction between kinds of liberty. The critique in question began with Gerald MacCallum Jr’s famous argument that liberty is a single concept that has a triadic structure between agent, constraint, and end. Against this view, the article argues that the triadic structure offered by MacCallum is unable to conceptualize a particular distinct understanding of liberty. Following Charles Taylor, the article defends the view that there is a distinct ‘exercise-concept’ of liberty that the triadic structure cannot account for. In support of this claim, the article contests a recent argument that an exercise-concept of liberty can be conceptualized in terms of the triadic structure. The article argues that the triadic framework can only conceptualize an exercise-concept of liberty at the cost of abandoning the substance of that framework. To defend this, the article explains that the triadic structure and an exercise-concept are basically conceptually distinct in virtue of the fact that the former embodies a ‘static’ concept, whereas the latter embodies a ‘dynamic’ one. To complete the argument that an exercise-concept is a distinct concept of liberty, the article articulates a common theme that unifies both the triadic structure and an exercise-concept as concepts of liberty.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,855

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-11-02

Downloads
51 (#226,379)

6 months
2 (#257,900)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government.Philip Pettit - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):415-419.
The Quality of Freedom.Matthew H. Kramer - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Negative and Positive Freedom.Gerald C. MacCallum - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (3):312-334.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Unity and Disunity in the Positive Tradition.Michael Garnett - 2022 - In John Christman (ed.), Positive Freedom: Past, Present, and Future. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 8-27.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Berlin’s Two Concepts of Positive Liberty.Janos Kis - 2013 - European Journal of Political Theory 12 (1):31-48.
Liberty: One Concept Too Many?Eric Nelson - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (1):58 - 78.
Liberty.Matt Zwolinski - 2009 - In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues in Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 275--286.
Non-Domination as a Moral Ideal.Christian Nadeau - 2003 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 6 (1):120-134.
Invigilating Republican Liberty.Gerald Lang - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):273-293.
Liberty as Power.Preston King - 1999 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (3):1-25.
Freedom, Liberty, and Property.Jonathan Wolff - 1997 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 11 (3):345-357.