Liberty and its Circumstances: A Functional Approach

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Liberty and its Circumstances: A Functional Approach

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Publication BookChapter
Title Liberty and its Circumstances: A Functional Approach
Author(s) Halldenius, Lena
Date 2009
Editor(s) de Bruin, Boudewijn; Zurn, Christopher
English abstract
On a functional approach to a concept one aims to address the question of why we use it at all. What is the work we want the concept to do? There can be nothing neutral about the answer to that question and the answer will not be found by merely looking at the world. The answer will be part of an elaboration of our moral and political commitments. It will be functional to the overall theory within which we use it. My aim in this article is to explore the multifaceted character of freedom, encouraged by a functional approach. Mainly, I wish to emphasize the importance of distinguishing between two questions, one concerning the meaning of liberty—What is liberty understood to be? What does it mean?—and another concerning the circumstances under which issues of liberty arise—What has to be the case for a state of affairs to be appropriately described as one of freedom or unfreedom? A number of mistakes and confusions can be cleared up if we appreciate that a factor can be an element of liberty without being included in the meaning of it, but instead in the circumstances that have to obtain for liberty to be a concern. This requires that the two questions, although related, are kept analytically distinct.
DOI (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Host/Issue New Waves in Political Philosophy
Series/Issue New waves in philosophy
ISBN 9780230221239
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Liberty
Dispositional power
Circumstances of freedom
Moral dimension
Political dimension
Practical dimension
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::History and philosophy subjects::Philosophy subjects::Practical philosophy
Note Read about the book New Waves in Political Philosophy here: Read about the New Waves in Philosophy series here:
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