Agency-freedom and option-freedom

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Abstract

The recent debates about the nature of social freedom, understood in a broadly negative way, have generated three main views of the topic: these represent freedom respectively as non-limitation, non-interference and non-domination. The participants in these debates often go different ways, however, because they address different topics under common names, not because they hold different intuitions on common topics. Social freedom is sometimes understood as option-freedom, sometimes as agency-freedom and the different directions taken by the theories can often be explained by their addressing freedom in one sense, then in another. The non-limitation approach focuses primarily on option-freedom, the non-domination approach on agency-freedom, whereas the representation of freedom as non-interference seems to spring from a failure to resolve the focus decisively on one target or another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Freedom
  • Option
  • Republicanism

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