A Theory of Freedom: From the Psychology to the Politics of Agency
August 2001, Polity
This book is unique among contemporary approaches - although it
is true to the spirit of classical writers like Hobbes and Kant -
in seeking a theory that applies to psychological issues of free
agency and free will as well as to political issues in the theory
of the free state and the free constitution. The driving thesis is
that it is only by connecting up the different issues of freedom,
psychological and political, that we can fully appreciate the
nature of the questions involved, and the requirements for their
resolution. The book does not not seek a comprehensive reach just
for its own sake, but rather for the sake of the illumination it
A Theory of Freedom is a ground-breaking volume which will be of wide interest to scholars and students in political philosophy and political science.
1. Conceptualizing Freedom.
2. Freedom as Rational Control.
3. Freedom as Volitional Control.
4. Freedom as Discursive Control.
5. Freedom and Collectivization.
6. Freedom and Politicization.
7. Freedom and Democratization.
- A major contribution to the theory of freedom by one of the outstanding political thinkers of our time
- An original and innovative approach
- Clearly and accessibly written
'A Theory of Freedom is full of fresh and stimulating
arguments on all the topics addressed, and draws useful and
interesting connections between issues that are ordinarily treated
in isolation from each other. It displays an almost breathtaking
elegance of conception.' R. Jay Wallace, Department of
Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley
"Pettit's work is, as can be expected from the author, full of
incisive comments and enlightening observations, woven together in
ingenious ways, and deserves to be read by any serious student of
metaphysical or political freedom." Mind
"A Theory of Freedom and Government (1997) has been described by
many as 'landmark work' on the republican model of political life.
Even if he had only done this work Pettit's intellectual
achievement would be considerable". Acta Politica
"Pettit argues his case engagingly and this book deserves a wide audience. Pettit provides a concise and accomplished volume which in large part achieves its aim and should be of interest to both domestic and international political theorists". Kirsten Ainley