The Problem of Political Freedom

Joseph Raz

in The Morality of Freedom

Published in print September 1988 | ISBN: 9780198248071
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598289 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 The Problem of Political Freedom

Show Summary Details


Central to liberalism is the concept of political freedom. Revisionists wrongly claim that liberty has only instrumental value, but they do nevertheless contribute several cogent arguments relevant to the question of how the value of liberty is to be justified. The doctrine of the presumption of liberty and the thesis that liberty ‘just has’ intrinsic value are rightly rejected by revisionists, since neither can ground distinctions between different freedoms. Linguistic analysis is of limited use to the justification of the value of liberty, since distinctions between notions of freedom and unfreedom do not match normatively relevant distinctions. This book seeks to defend a liberal theory of limited government without resort to the mistaken premises of individualism, which it rejects.

Keywords: freedom; government; individualism; liberalism; liberty; linguistic analysis

Chapter.  7335 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.