Ruskin

Topics: John Locke, Political philosophy, Liberalism Pages: 3 (852 words) Published: May 7, 2014
Positive liberty[edit]
"is involved in the answer to the question 'What, or who, is the source of control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this rather than that?' The two questions are clearly different, even though the answers to them may overlap."[6] Positive liberty may be understood as self-mastery, and includes one's having a role in choosing who governs the society of which one is a part.[citation needed] Berlin traced positive liberty from Aristotle's definition of citizenship, which is historically derived from the social role of the freemen of classical Athens: it was, Berlin argued, the liberty in choosing their government granted to citizens, and extolled, most famously, by Pericles. Berlin granted that both concepts of liberty represent valid human ideals, and that both forms of liberty are necessary in any free and civilised society.[citation needed] Negative liberty[edit]

"liberty in the negative sense involves an answer to the question: 'What is the area within which the subject — a person or group of persons — is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons'."[7] For Berlin, negative liberty represents a different, and sometimes contradictory, understanding of the concept of liberty, which needs to be carefully examined. Its later proponents (such as Tocqueville, Constant, Montesquieu, John Locke, David Hume and John Stuart Mill,[citation needed] who accepted Chrysippus' understanding of self-determination)[8] insisted that constraint and discipline were the antithesis of liberty and so were (and are) less prone to confusing liberty and constraint in the manner of rationalists and the philosophical harbingers of totalitarianism.[citation needed] This concept of negative liberty, Berlin argued, constitutes an alternative, and sometimes even opposed, concept to positive liberty, and one often closer to the intuitive modern usage of the word.

Positive liberty

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