A Measure of Freedom

Hardcover | March 1, 1999

byIan Carter

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It is often said that one person or society is `freer' than another, or that people have a right to equal freedom, or that freedom should be increased or even maximized. Such quantitative claims about freedom are of great importance to us, forming an essential part of our political discourseand theorizing. Yet their meaning has been surprisingly neglected by political philosophers until now. Ian Carter provides the first systematic account of the nature and importance of our judgements about degrees of freedom. He begins with an analysis of the normative assumptions behind the claim that individuals are entitled to a measure of freedom, and then goes on to ask whether it is indeedconceptually possible to measure freedom. Adopting a coherentist approach, the author argues for a conception of freedom that not only reflects commonly held intuitions about who is freer than who but is also compatible with a liberal or freedom-based theory of justice.

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It is often said that one person or society is `freer' than another, or that people have a right to equal freedom, or that freedom should be increased or even maximized. Such quantitative claims about freedom are of great importance to us, forming an essential part of our political discourseand theorizing. Yet their meaning has been su...

Research Fellow at the Department of Politics at the Universita di Pavia, Italy

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Format:HardcoverPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198294530

ISBN - 13:9780198294535

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPART I: JUSTICE AND OVERALL FREEDOM1. The Concept of Overall Freedom2. The Value of Freedom3. The Distribution of Freedom4. Reflective EquilibriumPART II: VALUE-BASED FREEDOM5. The Value-Based Approach6. Self-MasteryPART III: EMPIRICAL FREEDOM7. Individual Freedom: Actions8. Individual Freedom: Constraints9. Group Freedom10. Indicators of FreedomConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`In this ambitious and challenging book, Ian Carter argues that in addition to specific freedoms, such as the freedom to quit one's job or the freedom to vote, there is such a thing as "overall freedom."'Dan Hausman, Journal of the History of Economic Thought