Two Concepts of Liberty

From Critiques Of Libertarianism
Jump to: navigation, search

Choose one of these to see this page:




Isaiah Berlin's famous overview of how two ideas (of the hundreds) of liberty relate to various historical philosophers' ideas. He uses a different definition of positive liberty than prior authors.

Links

Nothing in this index yet.

Quotations

In so far as I live in society, everything that I do inevitably affects, and is affected by, what others do. Even Mill's strenuous effort to mark the distinction between the spheres of private and social life breaks down under examination. Virtually all Mill's critics have pointed out that everything that I do may have results which will harm other human beings.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of LibertyTwo Concepts of Liberty"
I do not wish to say that individual freedom is, even in the most liberal societies, the sole, or even the dominant, criterion of social action. We compel children to be educated, and we forbid public executions. These are certainly curbs to freedom. We justify them on the ground that ignorance, or a barbarian upbringing, or cruel pleasures and excitements are worse for us than the amount of restraint needed to repress them.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of LibertyTwo Concepts of Liberty"
First things come first [...] individual freedom is not everyone's primary need.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of LibertyTwo Concepts of Liberty"
Almost every moralist in human history has praised freedom. Like happiness and goodness, like nature and reality, it is a term whose meaning is so porous that there is little interpretation that it seems able to resist.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of LibertyTwo Concepts of Liberty"