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The Concept of Liberty - Essay Example

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The clssicl liberl, libertrin, nd principl commonsense conception of interpersonl liberty is of people not hving constrints imposed upon them by other people. Such liberty is here formulted s people not hving subjective cost initited nd imposed on them (tht is, without their consent) by other people…
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The Concept of Liberty
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The Concept of Liberty

They re used to derive property implictions nd to solve philosophicl problems ssocited with this conception of liberty. In the following pper I would like to discuss the concept of liberty s it is presented by severl reserches. First I will define the generl concept of liberty s it is viewed by the generl socil community, then I will discuss the views of severl uthors s for the liberty concept. Finlly I Will mke the conclusions nd summrize the reserched pper.
'Liberty', in its most generl sense, signifies the bsence of some sort of constrint on something. The topic here is interpersonl liberty: the bsence of initited constrints on people by other people; or, more precisely, people intercting voluntrily without constrining, interfering with, or imposing upon ech other - except to prevent or redress initited constrining, interfering, or imposing. s 'imposing' seems the most generl of these terms, I shll stick with tht s long s it withstnds criticism. Positively inititing n imposition on nother is to be contrsted here with merely withholding ssistnce, or with defense or redress (so not just nything tht nyone else might do could be described s 'imposing'). This sense of 'liberty' is supposed to be the opposite of subjection nd oppression: it is individul sovereignty. It is bout the voluntry interction of persons rther thn selfish individulism, s its detrctors sometimes misrepresent it. This is the liberty of libertrinism, clssicl liberlism, nd much - though not ll - common sense. s fr s I cn tell, no one hs hitherto provided n dequte ccount of liberty in this sense. This filure is prticulrly striking nd ironic mong those clling themselves 'libertrins'. I shll ttempt cler, or t lest clerer, wy of expressing this ide tht is cpble of deling with vrious problems.
number of reserches nd politicins in different wys interpret the concept of liberty. I will tke look t severl of them so tht them in my further reserch.
Isih Berlin presents two concepts of liberty through which he plces the freedom of judgment in reltionship to them, nd lys out some dvntges of liberty bsed on judgment over the other two concepts. One wy of tking Berlin's distinction is to mke it debte over the importnce of politicl prticiption. Berlin himself llows for number of other wys to put the distinction, but describes the centrl issue dividing the two concepts s follows:
Liberty in [the negtive] sense is principlly concerned with the re of control, not with its source. Just s democrcy my, in fct, deprive the individul citizen of gret mny liberties which he might hve in some other form of society, so it is perfectly conceivble tht liberl-minded despot would llow his subjects lrge mesure of personl freedom. Self-government my, on the whole, provide better gurntee of the preservtion of civil liberties thn other rgimes, nd hs been defended s such by libertrins. But there is no necessry connexion between individul liberty nd democrtic rule. The nswer to the question "Who governs me" is logiclly distinct from the question "How fr does government interfere with me" It is in this difference tht the gret contrst between the two concepts of negtive nd positive liberty, in the end, consists (Berlin, 2002).
Mny hve red Berlin s n updted version of Benjmin Constnt, who put mtters similrly. Constnt distinguished between the liberty of the ncients nd the liberty of the moderns, sying tht "n Englishmn, Frenchmn, nd citizen of the United Sttes" understnds liberty to ... Read More
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