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Lecture 14

PHIL 320A Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Negative Liberty, Positive Liberty

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- touches on Mill’s principle of liberty
- the defense of liberty consists in the negative goal of warding off interference
- notes three facts about Mill’s position
- 1. mill confuses two distinct notions a. idea of coercion and 2. men should seek to discover the
truth: both are liberal views, but there is no connection between them mill’s argument for
liberty as a necessary condition for the growth of human genius falls to the ground
- 2. doctrine is modern
- 3. liberty in this sense is pricing ally concerned with the area of control, not its source
leaving too much room for liberty could create inequality and mistreatments
- no necessary connection between liberty and democratic rule
- “positive liberty” becomes clear when we try to answer “what am I free to do or be?”
- proponents of negative liberty believe positive liberty is a sidguiee for brutal tyranny
- section 2 positive freedom
- positive liberty the wish on the part of the individual to be his own master
- our reasons as human beings that distinguish us from the rest of the world
- conscious of ourselves as thinking, willing, active beings
- positive and negative liberty may come into direct conflict with one another
- free choice of true self is identical to freedom
- people claim coercion is fine as long as it is for the good of the other person
- “positive” freedom may be inflated into some super-personal entity a state, a class, a nation
- conceptions of freedom directs derive from views of what constitutes a self, person, a man
- Negative liberty is the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints. One has negative liberty to
the extent that actions are available to one in this negative sense
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