Chapter

Instances of Freedom

H. Matthew Kramer

in The Quality of Freedom

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780199247561
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601927 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199247560.003.0003
 Instances of Freedom

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Begins with a few methodological reflections that expand on some of the observations in the opening chapter. It then tackles a host of difficulties relating to the existence of particular freedoms and unfreedoms. Among the topics addressed are the range of the contents of particular freedoms and unfreedoms (i.e. the range of the occurrences and states to which freedoms and unfreedoms can pertain), the counterfactual dimension of liberty (i.e. the fact that each person's freedoms and unfreedoms are determined partly by potential events that could have occurred but that do not actually materialize), the existence of freedoms that pertain to the undergoing of irresistible processes or states, the distinction between the value of doing X and the value of being free to do X, the degree to which doctrines of metaphysical or natural determinism can be reconciled with socio-political liberty, and the freedom-curtailing effects of certain psychological incapacities.

Keywords: counterfactuals; determinism; freedom; liberty; methodology; psychological incapacities; unfreedom

Chapter.  56265 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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