Chapter

The Value‐Based Approach

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/10.1093/0198294530.003.0006
 The Value‐Based Approach

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Most of those political philosophers who have tried to make sense of claims about degrees of freedom have proposed that the individual options available to the agent be weighted in terms of their values (whether the subjective values of the agent, objective values or the values of the agent’s society). Most prominent among these authors are Charles Taylor, Amartya Sen, Richard Arneson and Richard Norman. This value-based approach to measuring freedom can be shown to conflict with the view that we are interested in measuring freedom only because freedom has non-specific value. It therefore renders degree-of-freedom statements normatively superfluous. Moreover, even if interpreted as a way of making purely rhetorical sense of such statements, the approach has counterintuitive implications.

Keywords: Richard Arneson; degrees of freedom; measuring freedom; non-specific value; Richard Norman; rhetorical; Amartya Sen; Charles Taylor; value-based

Chapter.  13973 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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