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While the protection of the liberties of the subject is one of the main aims (and boasts) of almost all constitutions, there is less consensus about what those liberties include, or when liberty (good) becomes licence (bad). The problem is to define a class of actions that lie outside the proper jurisdiction of law, i.e. those which one has a right to perform (see privacy (social), rights). The value of liberty is dependent upon that of rational self-legislation, or autonomy, in the Kantian tradition, and dependent upon the nature of the social context rather than on individual rights in collectivist political philosophies.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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