A Third Concept of Liberty: Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith [NOOK Book]

Overview

Taking the title of his book from Isaiah Berlin's famous essay distinguishing a negative concept of liberty connoting lack of interference by others from a positive concept involving participation in the political realm, Samuel Fleischacker explores a third definition of liberty that lies between the first two. In Fleischacker's view, Kant and Adam Smith think of liberty as a matter of acting on our capacity for judgment, thereby differing both from those who tie it to the satisfaction of our desires and those ...

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A Third Concept of Liberty: Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith

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Overview

Taking the title of his book from Isaiah Berlin's famous essay distinguishing a negative concept of liberty connoting lack of interference by others from a positive concept involving participation in the political realm, Samuel Fleischacker explores a third definition of liberty that lies between the first two. In Fleischacker's view, Kant and Adam Smith think of liberty as a matter of acting on our capacity for judgment, thereby differing both from those who tie it to the satisfaction of our desires and those who translate it as action in accordance with reason or "will." Integrating the thought of Kant and Smith, and developing his own stand through readings of the Critique of Judgment and The Wealth of Nations, Fleischacker shows how different acting on one's best judgment is from acting on one's desires--how, in particular, good judgment, as opposed to mere desire, can flourish only in favorable social and political conditions. At the same time, exercising judgment is something every individual must do for him- or herself, hence not something that philosophers and politicians who reason better than the rest of us can do in our stead.

For this reason advocates of a liberty based on judgment are likely to be more concerned than are libertarians to make sure that government provides people with conditions for the use of their liberty--for example, excellent standards of education, health care, and unemployment insurance--while at the same time promoting a less paternalistic view of government than most of the movements associated for the past thirty years with the political left.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Apparently the first full-length treatment of the connections between the two thinkers<-->the ways in which Smith (1723-90) foreshadows Kant, and what Kant (1724-1804) had to say about Smith. Explores aesthetic and moral judgment, proper pleasures, virtue and independence, helping the poor, the public use of judgment, talent, industry, and luck. The third concept of liberty Fleischacker finds is the freedom for people to judge for themselves rather than requiring tutelage from others. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400822942
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Core Textbook
  • Pages: 338
  • File size: 643 KB

Table of Contents

PrefaceAbbreviationsCh. 1Introduction3Pt. IThe Nature of Judgment21Ch. 2Aesthetic Judgment23Ch. 3Moral Judgment32Ch. 4Judgment and Freedom64Pt. IIThe Politics of Judgment89Ch. 5Proper Pleasures91Ch. 6The Wealth of Nations (I): Judgment120Ch. 7The Wealth of Nations (II): Virtue and Independence140Ch. 8The Wealth of Nations (III): Helping the Poor161Ch. 9Kant's Politics, Rawls's Politics (I): The Public Use of Judgment184Ch. 10Kant's Politics, Rawls's Politics (II): Talent, Industry, and Luck215Pt. IIIThe Freedom of Judgment241Ch. 11A Third Concept of Liberty243Notes279Index329
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