Saving positive freedom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, I respond to Eric Nelson 's claim (in "Liberty: One Concept Too Many?") that the most prominent versions of a positive concept of freedom all reduce to negative notions. I argue that in his otherwise scholarly and well-argued article, Nelson confuses a conceptual dispute with a normative one based on moral or political principle. Further, I point out that the traditional critique of positive conceptions of liberty, which rests on skepticism about perfectionist conceptions of political value, is lost if we see the debate in the way Nelson lays it out. When these issues are disentangled, I suggest that there is indeed conceptual space for uniquely "positive" conceptions of freedom, and I suggest that the idea of "autonomy" can be taken for such a notion and indeed represents a value worth taking seriously in current discussions of justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalPolitical Theory
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

Fingerprint

Values
autonomy
justice
Conception
Liberty
Autonomy
Conceptual Space
Skepticism
Political Values
Justice
Dispute

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Christman, John Philip. / Saving positive freedom. In: Political Theory. 2005 ; Vol. 33, No. 1. pp. 79-88.
@article{30f3b87a8de84ec78c303dca0cbace5b,
title = "Saving positive freedom",
abstract = "In this article, I respond to Eric Nelson 's claim (in {"}Liberty: One Concept Too Many?{"}) that the most prominent versions of a positive concept of freedom all reduce to negative notions. I argue that in his otherwise scholarly and well-argued article, Nelson confuses a conceptual dispute with a normative one based on moral or political principle. Further, I point out that the traditional critique of positive conceptions of liberty, which rests on skepticism about perfectionist conceptions of political value, is lost if we see the debate in the way Nelson lays it out. When these issues are disentangled, I suggest that there is indeed conceptual space for uniquely {"}positive{"} conceptions of freedom, and I suggest that the idea of {"}autonomy{"} can be taken for such a notion and indeed represents a value worth taking seriously in current discussions of justice.",
author = "Christman, {John Philip}",
year = "2005",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0090591704271302",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "33",
pages = "79--88",
journal = "Political Theory",
issn = "0090-5917",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

Saving positive freedom. / Christman, John Philip.

In: Political Theory, Vol. 33, No. 1, 01.02.2005, p. 79-88.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Saving positive freedom

AU - Christman, John Philip

PY - 2005/2/1

Y1 - 2005/2/1

N2 - In this article, I respond to Eric Nelson 's claim (in "Liberty: One Concept Too Many?") that the most prominent versions of a positive concept of freedom all reduce to negative notions. I argue that in his otherwise scholarly and well-argued article, Nelson confuses a conceptual dispute with a normative one based on moral or political principle. Further, I point out that the traditional critique of positive conceptions of liberty, which rests on skepticism about perfectionist conceptions of political value, is lost if we see the debate in the way Nelson lays it out. When these issues are disentangled, I suggest that there is indeed conceptual space for uniquely "positive" conceptions of freedom, and I suggest that the idea of "autonomy" can be taken for such a notion and indeed represents a value worth taking seriously in current discussions of justice.

AB - In this article, I respond to Eric Nelson 's claim (in "Liberty: One Concept Too Many?") that the most prominent versions of a positive concept of freedom all reduce to negative notions. I argue that in his otherwise scholarly and well-argued article, Nelson confuses a conceptual dispute with a normative one based on moral or political principle. Further, I point out that the traditional critique of positive conceptions of liberty, which rests on skepticism about perfectionist conceptions of political value, is lost if we see the debate in the way Nelson lays it out. When these issues are disentangled, I suggest that there is indeed conceptual space for uniquely "positive" conceptions of freedom, and I suggest that the idea of "autonomy" can be taken for such a notion and indeed represents a value worth taking seriously in current discussions of justice.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=12944265116&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=12944265116&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0090591704271302

DO - 10.1177/0090591704271302

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:12944265116

VL - 33

SP - 79

EP - 88

JO - Political Theory

JF - Political Theory

SN - 0090-5917

IS - 1

ER -