What Is Freedom if It Is Not Power?

Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 59 (132):1-25 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this article, I try to embark on an understanding of the work that the concept of freedom does, by distinguishing it from the concept of power. When we are interested in our power, we are interested in what we are able to do; it is plausible to think that when we are interested in freedom, we are interested in something else. The article is largely concerned with looking for this 'something else'. I suggest that freedom differs from power in focusing on the constraints that we are under. When we are interested in freedom, the importance of these constraints is not particularly that they stop us doing things, because that is covered by considering our powers. I suggest that the constraints are important - if they are important at all - because some constraints insult our dignity. This suggests an alternative approach to the current focus on freedom as a property of actions: that of freedom as a property of persons. This idea is explored and defended. In a final section on republican freedom, I argue, against Pettit, that there is no distinctive concept of republican freedom ; but that there is a different - and a highly attractive - political theory present in republicanism

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,261

External links

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

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Power: A Philosophical Analysis.Peter Morriss - 1987 - New York: Manchester University Press.
Thomas Hobbes and the Ethics of Freedom.Thomas Pink - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (5):541 - 563.
Zum Problem der Willensfreiheit.Ulrich Steinvorth - 1995 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 49 (3):398 - 415.
Power and moral responsibility.Thomas Pink - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):127 – 149.
Thomas Reid on freedom and morality.William L. Rowe - 1991 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Public space.James Mensch - 2007 - Continental Philosophy Review 40 (1):31-47.
Freedom, human and divine.Tim Mawson - 2005 - Religious Studies 41 (1):55-69.
The Development of Freedom.Daniel O. Dahlstrom - 2007 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:35-52.
Thomas Reid on active power and free agency.Xiangdong Xu - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (3):369-389.
Freedom and the Power of Preference.Keith Lehrer - 2004 - In M. O.’Rourke J. K. Campbell (ed.), Freedom and Determinism. MIT Press. pp. 47--69.
Freedom defined as the power to decide.Storrs McCall - 1984 - American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (4):329-38.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-12-13

Downloads
60 (#269,397)

6 months
7 (#439,760)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?