Many of those critical of traditional liberalism have focused on the notion of freedom at the center of that approach, namely the (negative) idea of liberty as the absence of interferences with action. Building a plausible and normatively acceptable positive alternative, however, has faced numerous criticisms and challenges. In this paper I discuss what such critics of liberalism see as the limitations of the traditional negative notion and sketch the core components of a positive alternative. Specifically I suggest that the dimensions of liberty should contain the positive elements of capa- bilities and agent authenticity. After laying out the core of these ideas I briefly defend them against standard objections. In doing so, I argue that such a positive notion is necessary to capture the dominance of the language of freedom in contexts of resistance and struggle in the actual, non-ideal, world.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science