Freedom as Independence

ETHICS 126.4 (2016). DOI: 10.1086/686006

Abstract: Much recent philosophical work on social freedom focuses on whether freedom should be understood as noninterference, in the liberal tradition associated with Isaiah Berlin, or as nondomination, in the republican tradition revived by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner. We defend a conception of freedom that lies between these two alternatives: freedom as independence. Like republican freedom, it demands the robust absence of relevant constraints on action. Unlike republican, and like liberal freedom, it is not moralized. We showcase the virtues of this conception and offer a novel map of the logical space in which different conceptions of freedom are located.