Freedom: Contemporary Liberal Perspectives
November 2007, Polity
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Flikschuh shows that, instead of just one negative and one positive freedom tradition, contemporary liberal thinkers articulate the meaning and significance of liberal freedom in many different and often conflicting ways. What should we make of such diversity and disagreement? Should it undermine our confidence in the coherence of liberal freedom? Should we strive towards greater conceptual and normative unity?
Flikschuh argues that moral and political disagreement about freedom can often be traced back to differences in underlying metaphysical presuppositions and commitments. Yet these differences do not show liberal freedom debates to be confused or incoherent. On the contrary, they demonstrate the centrality of this philosophically elusive idea to the continued vitality of liberal political thinking.