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Market, State, and CommunityTheoretical Foundations of Market Socialism$
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David Miller

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198278641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198278640.001.0001

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(p.23) 1 Freedom
Market, State, and Community

David Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Libertarians defend a narrow version of negative freedom. Hayek defines freedom as the absence of coercion, but this position is shown to be untenable. A more common view is that laws and other such deliberately imposed obstacles restrict freedom, but a lack of economic opportunities, for instance, does not. Against this, it is argued that any obstacle for which human beings can be held morally responsible should count as a constraint on freedom. Furthermore, contrary to Steiner, a constraint does not have to prevent an action, it can merely make it ineligible.

Keywords:   coercion, constraint, economic opportunity, freedom, Friedrich Hayek, law, libertarianism, Robert Nozick, responsibility, Hillel Steiner

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