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A Measure of Freedom

Law and Philosophy 20 (5):531-540 (2001)

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  1. Dworkin’s Unity of Value: An Interpretation and Defense.Luke MacInnis - 2020 - Res Publica 26 (3):403-422.
    Ronald Dworkin’s unity of value thesis underlies his influential moral, political, and legal thought. This essay presents an interpretation of the unity thesis designed to isolate its distinctly ethical character, elaborate Dworkin’s fundamental ethical arguments for it, and to utilize this reconstruction to correct misinterpretations that, I argue, underlie recent criticism. This criticism largely depends on construing the unity thesis within a familiar dualistic meta-ethical framework according to which Dworkin’s theory of value is classified as either constructivist or realist in (...)
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  • The Case for Banning Cigarettes.Kalle Grill & Kristin Voigt - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5):293-301.
    Lifelong smokers lose on average a decade of life vis-à-vis non-smokers. Globally, tobacco causes about 5–6 million deaths annually. One billion tobacco-related deaths are predicted for the 21st century, with about half occurring before the age of 70. In this paper, we consider a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes and find that such a ban, if effective, would be justified. As with many policy decisions, the argument for such a ban requires a weighing of the pros and cons (...)
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  • Slaves, Prisoners, and Republican Freedom.Fabian Wendt - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (2):175-192.
    Philip Pettit’s republican conception of freedom is presented as an alternative both to negative and positive conceptions of freedom. The basic idea is to conceptualize freedom as non-domination, not as non-interference or self-mastery. When compared to negative freedom, Pettit’s republican conception comprises two controversial claims: the claim that we are unfree if we are dominated without actual interference, and the claim that we are free if we face interference without domination. Because the slave is a widely accepted paradigm of the (...)
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  • Overall Freedom Measurement and Evaluation: A Defence of the Partly Evaluative Approach to Freedom Measurement.Ronen Shnayderman - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):715-729.
    Freedom is one of the most important moral and political ideals. Questions concerning degrees of overall freedom are therefore of the utmost moral and political concern. To answer these questions we need to know how to measure degrees of overall freedom. This paper offers a novel defence of the partly evaluative approach to freedom measurement against a recent critique of it. According to the partly evaluative approach, the question of how free one is depends partly on the specific value of (...)
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  • Kant, Ripstein and the Circle of Freedom: A Critical Note.Laura Valentini - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):450-459.
    Much contemporary political philosophy claims to be Kant-inspired, but its aims and method differ from Kant's own. In his recent book, Force and Freedom, Arthur Ripstein advocates a more orthodox Kantian outlook, presenting it as superior to dominant (Kant-inspired) views. The most striking feature of this outlook is its attempt to ground the whole of political morality in one right: the right to freedom, understood as the right to be independent of others’ choices. Is Ripstein's Kantian project successful? In this (...)
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  • Freedom Without Law.Harrison P. Frye - 2018 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (3):298-316.
    Untangling the relationship of law and liberty is among the core problems of political theory. One prominent position is that there is no freedom without law. This article challenges the argument that, because law is constitutive of freedom, there is no freedom without law. I suggest that, once properly understood, the argument that law is constitutive of freedom does not uniquely apply to law. It also applies to social norms. What law does for freedom, social norms can do too. Thus, (...)
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  • Should We Extend Voluntary Euthanasia to Non-Medical Cases? Solidarity and the Social Context of Elderly Suffering.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (2):129-162.
    Several Dutch politicians have recently argued that medical voluntary euthanasia laws should be extended to include healthy elderly citizens who suffer from non-medical ‘existential suffering’. In response, some seek to show that cases of medical euthanasia are morally permissible in ways that completed life euthanasia cases are not. I provide a different, societal perspective. I argue against assessing the permissibility of individual euthanasia cases in separation of their societal context and history. An appropriate justification of euthanasia needs to be embedded (...)
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  • Agency and Inner Freedom.Michael Garnett - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):3-23.
    This paper concerns the relationship between two questions. The first is a question about inner freedom: What is it to be rendered unfree, not by external obstacles, but by aspects of oneself? The second is a question about agency: What is it to fail at being a thing that genuinely acts, and instead to be a thing that is merely acted upon, passive in relation to its own behaviour? It is widely believed that answers to the first question must rest (...)
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  • Why Animals Have an Interest in Freedom.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2015 - Historical Social Research 40 (4):92-109.
    Do non-human animals have an interest in sociopolitical freedom? Cochrane has recently taken up this important yet largely neglected quest ion. He argues that animal freedom is not a relevant moral concern in itself, because animals have a merely instrumental but not an intrinsic interest in freedom (Cochrane 2009a, 2012). This paper will argue that even if animals have a merely instrumental interest in freedom, animal freedom should nonetheless be an important goal for our relationships with animals. Drawing on recent (...)
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  • A Brief History of Liberty--And Its Lessons.Philip Pettit - 2016 - Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 17:5-21.
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  • ‘Ownness Created a New Freedom’: Max Stirner’s Alternative Concept of Liberty.Saul Newman - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-21.
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  • Ecosystem Services and the Value of Places.Simon James - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):101-113.
    In the US Environmental Protection Agency, the World Wide Fund for Nature and many other environmental organisations, it is standard practice to evaluate particular woods, wetlands and other such places on the basis of the ‘ecosystem services’ they are thought to provide. I argue that this practice cannot account for one important way in which places are of value to human beings. When they play integral roles in our lives, particular places have a kind of value which cannot be adequately (...)
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  • Group Freedom: A Social Mechanism Account.Frank Hindriks - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (6):410-439.
    Many existing defenses of group rights seem to rely on the notion of group freedom. To date, however, no adequate analysis of this notion has been offered. Group freedom is best understood in terms of processes of social categorization that are embedded in social mechanisms. Such processes often give rise to group-specific constraints and enablements. On the proposed social mechanism account, group rights are demands for group freedom. Even so, group rights often serve to eradicate individual unfreedom. Furthermore, generic measures (...)
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  • An Anatomy of Moral Responsibility.M. Braham & M. van Hees - 2012 - Mind 121 (483):601-634.
    This paper examines the structure of moral responsibility for outcomes. A central feature of the analysis is a condition that we term the ‘avoidance potential’, which gives precision to the idea that moral responsibility implies a reasonable demand that an agent should have acted otherwise. We show how our theory can allocate moral responsibility to individuals in complex collective action problems, an issue that sometimes goes by the name of ‘the problem of many hands’. We also show how it allocates (...)
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  • Persons or Property – Freedom and the Legal Status of Animals.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (1):20-45.
    _ Source: _Page Count 26 Is freedom a plausible political value for animals? If so, does this imply that animals are owed legal personhood rights or can animals be free but remain human property? Drawing on different conceptions of freedom, I will argue that while positive freedom, libertarian self-ownership, and republican freedom are not plausible political values for animals, liberal ‘option-freedom’ is. However, because such option-freedom is in principle compatible with different legal statuses, animal freedom does not conceptually imply a (...)
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  • An Unresolved Problem: Freedom Across Lifetimes.Andreas Schmidt - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1413-1438.
    Freedom is one of the central values in political and moral philosophy. A number of theorists hold that freedom should either be the only or at least one of the central distribuenda in our theories of distributive justice. Moreover, many follow Mill and hold that a concern for personal freedom should guide, and limit, how paternalist public policy can be. For the most part, theorists have focussed on a person’s freedom at one specific point in time but have failed to (...)
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  • Value Neutrality and the Ranking of Opportunity Sets.Michael Garnett - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (1):99-119.
    I defend the idea that a liberal commitment to value neutrality is best honoured by maintaining a pure cardinality component in our rankings of opportunity or liberty sets. I consider two challenges to this idea. The first holds that cardinality rankings are unnecessary for neutrality, because what is valuable about a set of liberties from a liberal point of view is not its size but rather its variety. The second holds that pure cardinality metrics are insufficient for neutrality, because liberties (...)
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  • Freedom: Psychological, Ethical, and Political.Philip Pettit - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (4):375-389.
    Freedom is sometimes cast as the psychological ideal that distinguishes human beings from other animals; sometimes as the ethical ideal that distinguishes some human beings from others; and sometimes as the political ideal that distinguishes some human societies from others. This paper is an attempt to put the three ideals in a common frame, revealing their mutual connections and differences.
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  • The Freedom of Collective Agents.Frank Hindriks - 2008 - Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (2):165–183.
    Corporate freedom is the freedom of a collective agent to perform a joint action. According to a reductive account, a collective or corporate agent is free exactly if the individuals who constitute the corporate agent are free. It is argued that individual freedoms are neither necessary nor sufficient for corporate freedom. The alternative account proposed here focuses on the performance of the joint action by the corporate agent itself. Subsequently, the analysis is applied to Cohen’s (1983) analysis of proletarian freedom. (...)
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  • Gruesome Freedom: The Moral Limits of Non-Constraint.John Lawless - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    Many philosophers conceive of freedom as non-interference. Such conceptions unify two core commitments. First, they associate freedom with non-constraint. And second, they take seriously a distinction between the interpersonal and the non-personal. As a result, they focus our attention exclusively on constraints attributable to other people’s choices – that is, on interference. I argue that these commitments manifest two distinct concerns: first, for a wide range of options; and second, for other people’s respect. However, construing freedom as non-interference unifies these (...)
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  • Noumenal Power, Reasons, and Justification: A Critique of Forst.Sameer Bajaj & Enzo Rossi - forthcoming - In Ester Herlin-Karnell & Matthias Klatt (eds.), Constitutionalism Justified. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this essay we criticise Rainer Forst's attempt to draw a connection between power and justification, and thus ground his normative theory of a right to justification. Forst draws this connection primarily conceptually, though we will also consider whether a normative connection may be drawn within his framework. Forst's key insight is that if we understand power as operating by furnishing those subjected to it with reasons, then we create a space for the normative contestation of any exercise of power. (...)
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  • Freedom of Choice and Expected Compromise.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2010 - Social Choice and Welfare 35 (1):65-79.
    This article develops a new measure of freedom of choice based on the proposal that a set offers more freedom of choice than another if, and only if, the expected degree of dissimilarity between a random alternative from the set of possible alternatives and the most similar offered alternative in the set is smaller. Furthermore, a version of this measure is developed, which is able to take into account the values of the possible options.
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  • Working on the Inside: Ronald Dworkin's Moral Philosophy. [REVIEW]M. H. Kramer - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):118-129.
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  • Agency in Social Context.John Lawless - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):471-498.
    Many political philosophers argue that interference threatens a person’s agency. And they cast political freedom in opposition to interpersonal threats to agency, as non-interference. I argue that this approach relies on an inapt model of agency, crucial aspects of which emerge from our relationships with other people. Such relationships involve complex patterns of vulnerability and subjection, essential to our constitution as particular kinds of agents: as owners of property, as members of families, and as participants in a market for labor. (...)
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  • Withdrawing Versus Withholding Freedoms: Nudging and the Case of Tobacco Control.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (7):3-14.
    Is it a stronger interference with people's freedom to withdraw options they currently have than to withhold similar options they do not have? Drawing on recent theorizing about sociopolitical freedom, this article identifies considerations that often make this the case for public policy. However, when applied to tobacco control, these considerations are shown to give us at best only very weak freedom-based reason to prioritize the status quo. This supports a popular argument for so-called “endgame” tobacco control measures: If we (...)
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  • Concepts and Consequences of Liberty: From Smith and Mill to Libertarian Paternalism.David Meskill - 2013 - Critical Review 25 (1):86-106.
    Isaiah Berlin distinguished between negative liberty, which is freedom from external coercion, and positive liberty, the freedom to master oneself. But the schema is too simple. Adam Smith thought that God had harmoniously arranged the world in such a way that the freedom provided by our negative liberty tended to redound to the public good. Mill, worried about the deleterious effects of public ignorance, accorded elites a prominent role in ensuring that negative liberty would lead to positive results. More recently, (...)
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  • Republican Dignity: The Importance of Taking Offence.Jan-Willem van der Rijt - 2009 - Law and Philosophy 28 (5):465-492.
    This paper analyses the republican notion of non-domination from the viewpoint of individual dignity. It determines the aspect of individual dignity that republicans are concerned with and scrutinises how it is safeguarded by non-domination. I argue that the notion of non-domination as it is formulated by Pettit contains a number of ambiguities that need to be addressed. I discuss these ambiguities and argue for specific solutions that place great importance on a person's moral beliefs and his status as a moral (...)
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  • Causal Tests in Subjunctive Judgements About Negative Freedom.Ronen Shnayderman - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):183-197.
    This essay discusses a heretofore neglected dimension of one of the most important questions in the realm of political theory: which obstacles that stand in the way of our performing a certain action render us unfree to perform that action? This dimension is concerned with the issue of the causal test that a certain central kind of obstacle—i.e., subjunctive interference—has to pass in order to render us unfree. The aim of this essay is, first, to introduce this issue; and, second, (...)
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  • In Defence of Good Simpliciter.Richard Rowland - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1371-1391.
    Many including Judith Jarvis Thomson, Philippa Foot, Peter Geach, Richard Kraut, and Paul Ziff have argued for good simpliciter skepticism. According to good simpliciter skepticism, we should hold that there is no concept of being good simpliciter or that there is no property of being good simpliciter. I first show that prima facie we should not accept either form of good simpliciter skepticism. I then show that all of the arguments that good simpliciter skeptics have proposed for their view fail (...)
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  • Green Libertarianism.Garvan Walshe - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):955-970.
    People evolved as part of an ecosystem, making use of the Earth’s bounty without reflection. Only when our ancestors developed the capacity for moral agency could we begin to reflect on whether we had taken in excess of our due. This outlines a ‘green libertarianism’ in which our property rights are grounded in fundamental ecological facts. It further argues that it is immune from two objections levelled at right- and left- libertarian theories of acquisition: that Robert Nozick, without justification, divided (...)
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  • Risk and Distributive Justice: The Case of Regulating New Technologies.Maria Paola Ferretti - 2010 - Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (3): 501-515.
    There are certain kinds of risk for which governments, rather than individual actors, are increasingly held responsible. This article discusses how regulatory institutions can ensure an equitable distribution of risk between various groups such as rich and poor, and present and future generations. It focuses on cases of risk associated with technological and biotechnological innovation. After discussing various possibilities and difficulties of distribution, this article proposes a non-welfarist understanding of risk as a burden of cooperation.
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  • A Paradox for the Intrinsic Value of Freedom of Choice.Johan E. Gustafsson - forthcoming - Noûs.
    A standard liberal claim is that freedom of choice is not only instrumentally valuable but also intrinsically valuable, that is, valuable for its own sake. I argue that each one of five conditions is plausible if freedom of choice is intrinsically valuable. Yet there exists a counter-example to the conjunction of these conditions. Hence freedom of choice is not intrinsically valuable.
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  • Loss of Epistemic Self-Determination in the Anthropocene.Ian Werkheiser - 2017 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 20 (2):156-167.
    One serious harm facing communities in the Anthropocene is epistemic loss. This is increasingly recognized as a harm in international policy discourses around adaptation to climate change. Epistemic loss is typically conceived of as the loss of a corpus of knowledge, or less commonly, as the further loss of epistemic methodologies. In what follows, I argue that epistemic loss also can involve the loss of epistemic self-determination, and that this framework can help to usefully examine adaptation policies.
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  • Revising Republican Liberty: What is the Difference Between a Disinterested Gentle Giant and a Deterred Criminal?Nikolas Kirby - 2016 - Res Publica 22 (4):369-386.
    This paper assesses the most well thought out contemporary conception of republican liberty put forward by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner. I demonstrate that it is incoherent: at least insofar as it seeks to pick out a form of unfreedom not captured by the negative conception of liberty. This incoherence arises because Pettit and Skinner cannot both hold that republican unfreedom is defined by one agent’s mere capacity to interfere arbitrarily with another agent and, at the same time, claim that (...)
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  • Justice for Hedgehogs, Conceptual Authenticity for Foxes: Ronald Dworkin on Value Conflicts.Jack Winter - 2016 - Res Publica 22 (4):463-479.
    In his 2011 book Justice for Hedgehogs, Ronald Dworkin makes a case for the view that genuine values cannot conflict and, moreover, that they are necessarily mutually supportive. I argue that by prioritizing coherence over the conceptual authenticity of values, Dworkin’s ‘interpretivist’ view risks neglecting what we care about in these values. I first determine Dworkin’s position on the monism/pluralism debate and identify the scope of his argument, arguing that despite his self-declared monism, he is in fact a pluralist, but (...)
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  • Exploring Domination: Rousseau’s Second Discourse and ‘Wage-Slavery’.Simon Cotton - 2017 - Contemporary Political Theory 16 (1):116-122.
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  • Republican Freedom, Rights, and the Coalition Problem.K. Dowding - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (3):301-322.
    Republican freedom is freedom from domination juxtaposed to negative freedom as freedom from interference. Proponents argue that republican freedom is superior since it highlights that individuals lose freedoms even when they are not subject to interference, and claim republican freedom is more ‘resilient’. Republican freedom is trivalent, that is, it includes the idea that someone might be non-free to perform some actions rather than unfree, and in that sense everyone regards republican freedom as different from negative freedom. Trivalence makes republican (...)
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