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The Morality of Freedom$
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Joseph Raz

Print publication date: 1988

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198248075.001.0001

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The Problem of Political Freedom

The Problem of Political Freedom

(p.1) 1 The Problem of Political Freedom
The Morality of Freedom

Joseph Raz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Central to liberalism is the concept of political freedom. Revisionists wrongly claim that liberty has only instrumental value, but they do nevertheless contribute several cogent arguments relevant to the question of how the value of liberty is to be justified. The doctrine of the presumption of liberty and the thesis that liberty ‘just has’ intrinsic value are rightly rejected by revisionists, since neither can ground distinctions between different freedoms. Linguistic analysis is of limited use to the justification of the value of liberty, since distinctions between notions of freedom and unfreedom do not match normatively relevant distinctions. This book seeks to defend a liberal theory of limited government without resort to the mistaken premises of individualism, which it rejects.

Keywords:   freedom, government, individualism, liberalism, liberty, linguistic analysis

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