Discourse theory and republican freedom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


This essay outlines some of the main issues that arise in the theory of freedom and, in particular, those that divide the liberal conception of freedom as non-interference from the republican conception of freedom as non-domination. It goes on to explore the idea that discourse theory provides reasons for favouring the republican conception. Discourse theory is taken for these purposes to be a theory that subsumes, but goes beyond decision theory. It accepts the decision-theoretic view that human agents are moved by beliefs and desires that, on the whole, are rationally maintained and rationally issued in action. But it adds the further, crucial assumption that human beliefs and desires are shaped under the transformative influence of discursive argument and exchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRepublicanism
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Theory, Practice
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)0714655937, 9780203497548
StatePublished - Mar 31 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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