Freedom as Independence

Ethics 126 (4):1043–1074 (2016)

Abstract

Much recent philosophical work on social freedom focuses on whether freedom should be understood as non-interference, in the liberal tradition associated with Isaiah Berlin, or as non-domination, in the republican tradition revived by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner. We defend a conception of freedom that lies between these two alternatives: freedom as independence. Like republican freedom, it demands the robust absence of relevant constraints on action. Unlike republican, and like liberal freedom, it is not moralized. We show that freedom as independence retains the virtues of its liberal and republican counterparts while shedding their vices. Our aim is to put this conception of freedom more firmly on the map and to offer a novel perspective on the logical space in which different conceptions of freedom are located.

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Author Profiles

Christian List
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Laura Valentini
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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