Chapter

Reflective Equilibrium

Ian Carter

in A Measure of Freedom

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294535
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598951 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294530.003.0005
 Reflective Equilibrium

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The problems of defining and measuring freedom are not separable. One cannot first define freedom and then ask about its measurability, because the implications of a definition of freedom in terms of degrees of overall freedom affect the plausibility of that definition. Defining freedom (both specific and overall) is instead part of a “reflective equilibrium” process that takes into account the demands on our powers of measurement implied by our principles of justice, our intuitions about specific freedoms, and our intuitions about overall freedom (or “common-sense comparisons” of freedom). This application of the reflective equilibrium method to the definition of overall freedom can be usefully contrasted with that proposed by Christine Swanton.

Keywords: common-sense; definition of freedom; intuitions; measuring; overall freedom; reflective equilibrium; specific freedom; Christine Swanton

Chapter.  9904 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Theory

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