Freedom as a moral concept

Dissertation, St. Andrews (1990)

Abstract
This thesis constitutes a conceptual inquiry into the nature of social freedom, which is held to be logically distinct from other freedom-concepts although it presupposes free-will/autarchy. The thesis argues for a 'responsibility view' of negative freedom according to which an agent B is socially free to do x iff he is not constrained by another agent A from doing x. A constrains B when A can be held morally responsible for imposing or not removing a real obstacle to choice/action that impedes B's doing x. This responsibility condition is satisfied when it is appropriate, in the given context, to ask A for a justification of his act/omission. Social freedom is a relational concept. Its irreflexive nature implies that internal bars, for which no other agent is responsible, cannot constrain our own freedom. Moreover, it is argued that autonomy is not a necessary condition of particular cases of freedom; nor is freedom in general a necessary condition of autonomy. Accounts of positive liberty assume that a) a person can constrain his own freedom; b) freedom is an exercise-, not an opportunity-concept. Hence, they are not accounts of social freedom but uphold other, logically distinct, values. The last part of the thesis deals with questions of method. It is argued that the widely held essential contestability thesis is either circular or paradoxical, and that it is methodologically possible to construct an authoritative definition of freedom which is normative and critical but non-relative.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,928
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Meaning of Freedom.Luis Eduardo Hoyos - 2009 - Ideas Y Valores 58 (141):85-107.
The Bull in the China Shop: A Discussion of an Ambiguity Within Pettit’s Theory of Freedom as Discursive Control.Steven J. Youngblood - 2005 - Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 1 (1):185-190.
Overall Freedom and Constraint.Ian Hunt - 2001 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):131 – 147.
Believing Autonomously.Mark Leon - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:169-183.
The Problem of Freedom.Mary T. Clark (ed.) - 1973 - New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Interpersonal Comparisons of Freedom.Ian Carter - 1994 - Economics and Philosophy 10 (2):1-23.
Interpersonal Comparisons of Freedom.Ian Carter - 1995 - Economics and Philosophy 11 (1):1.
Freedom and Integrity.Bruce Morito - 1986 - Dissertation, University of Guelph (Canada)
Freedom and Belief: Revised Edition.Galen Strawson - 2010 - Oxford University Press UK.
Abilities. [REVIEW]Randolph Clarke - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):451-458.
Locke on the Freedom of the Will.Vere Chappell - 1994 - In G. A. J. Rogers (ed.), Locke's Philosophy: Content and Context. Oxford University Press. pp. 101--21.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-04-07

Total views
1 ( #1,218,286 of 2,319,058 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #778,114 of 2,319,058 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature