Freedom and Immunity

in Terms of the Political

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242641
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242689 | DOI:
Freedom and Immunity

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Chapter 4 unpacks one of the great words of the political lexicon–namely, freedom. Reading freedom through the lens of an etymological analysis of communitas and immunitas, the chapter argues that the more freedom is discussed in political discourse and in the media, the more its truly complex sense escapes us, because it remains entrapped in a subjectivist framework–only an individual can regard freedom as an object to defend or conquer, to possess, or to extend. As long as freedom is confined to what is “proper” rather than “common,” freedom is turned instead into its opposite. Instead, we should think of freedom as that part of community that resists immunization and remains open to difference.

Keywords: Freedom; Immunity; Political vocabulary; Political philosophy; Democracy; Power; Sovereignty; Gift; Subject; Proper/improper

Chapter.  4056 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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