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Freedom

There is little disagreement surrounding the claim that freedom is the central value of the liberal political order. However, there is little agreement regarding the proper understanding of this value and, more precisely, the kinds of constraints on individual freedom that the state would be justified in imposing. On this issue, proponents of freedom can be roughly divided into two basic camps: those who articulate the value of freedom negatively as “freedom from” interference, and those who understand it in a more positive fashion as “freedom to” live under certain conditions, participate in particular activities, or develop in a specified way. Simply put, advocates of negative freedom limit their focus to constraints that originate in the wills of other individuals or in state intervention. Freedom, ...

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