In this engaging new book, Katrin Flikschuh offers an accessibleintroduction to divergent conceptions of freedom in contemporaryliberal political philosophy. Beginning with a discussion of IsaiahBerlin's seminal distinction between negative and positive liberty,the book goes on to consider Gerald MacCallums alternative proposalof freedom as a triadic concept. The abiding influence of Berlin'sargument on the writings of contemporary liberal philosophers suchas Robert Nozick, Hillel Steiner, Ronald Dworkin and Joseph Raz, isfully explored in subsequent chapters.
Flikschuh shows that, instead of just one negative and onepositive freedom tradition, contemporary liberal thinkersarticulate the meaning and significance of liberal freedom in manydifferent and often conflicting ways. What should we make of suchdiversity and disagreement? Should it undermine our confidence inthe coherence of liberal freedom? Should we strive towards greaterconceptual and normative unity?
Flikschuh argues that moral and political disagreement aboutfreedom can often be traced back to differences in underlyingmetaphysical presuppositions and commitments. Yet these differencesdo not show liberal freedom debates to be confused or incoherent.On the contrary, they demonstrate the centrality of thisphilosophically elusive idea to the continued vitality of liberalpolitical thinking.
About the Author
Katrin Flikschuh is Lecturer in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Table of Contents
Approaching Liberal Freedom.
Isaiah Berlin: Two Concepts of Liberty?.
Gerald MacCallum: Freedom as a Triadic Concept.
Robert Nozick: Negative Freedom and Property Rights.
Hillel Steiner: The Natural Right to Pure Negative Liberty.
Ronald Dworkin: Freedom as an Aspect of Equality.
Joseph Raz: The Social Value of Personal Autonomy.
Liberal Freedom – Positive, Negative, Either orNeither?.