Liberty as power

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (3):1-25 (1999)
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Liberty is viewed as the reigning paradigm of our age, but it is a paradigm in crisis. It is conventionally divided into two types, positive and negative. The argument here is that both types can be seen to presuppose some capacity, which may extend to power. Liberty, however, is normally accorded a higher moral value than power. But if liberty is taken itself to reflect a commitment to power, then the disvalue ostensibly placed upon the latter is unreliable. Furthermore, if liberty in effect reflects a (veiled) celebration of power, then it may not be in order to accord it the precedence which is customary. We may well be entitled to look beyond liberty to other values, such as tolerance and friendship, which are not necessarily expressions of liberty, but which may prove quite as worthy



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Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 2006 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
On Liberty.John Stuart Mill - 1859 - Broadview Press.
Social Choice and Individual Values.Irving M. Copi - 1952 - Science and Society 16 (2):181-181.

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