Human freedom from a democratic socialist point of view: A reply to Doppelt

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 27 (1-4):105 – 115 (1984)
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Abstract

Doppelt argues that the democratic socialist conception of human freedom expressed in some recent works of mine lacks philosophical justification and fails to get to the roots of the socialist ideals of dignity, human worth, and self-respect. Doppelt claims to provide a new approach to the grounding of human freedom which allows him to avoid what he regards as the narrowness of my own conception. Not only does Doppelt fail to show that my own conception of freedom is confined to self-management and cannot embrace the dimensions of social life his own paradigm is claimed to take care of, his article fails to raise or resolve the question of the conflict between the democratic socialist and the Rawlsian components that make up his 'new' paradigm. In this reply I discuss the issues Doppelt himself raises in connection with my own work: (1) how to ground human freedom; (2) whether my conception of freedom in democratic socialism is rationally preferable to the conception embodied in contemporary capitalist society; and (3) whether my idea of freedom does indeed exclude those dimensions of life to which Doppelt refers.

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