The Measurement of Pure Negative Freedom
Title: The Measurement of Pure Negative Freedom
Author: CARTER, Ian
Citation: Political Studies, 1992, 40, 1, 38-50
Examining the question of whether or how far freedom is measurable contributes to the analysis of the concept of freedom in two ways. First, it involves attempting to establish criteria for answering questions about 'how free' individuals or societies are. Secondly, it helps to show how far different definitions of freedom really conflict, in as much as those definitions are themselves motivated by intuitive extent-of-freedom assessments in the first place. Critics of the 'pure negative' conception of freedom (freedom as the absence of purely physical impediments to action) have argued either that freedom is unmeasurable on such a conception, or that such a conception is counterintuitive, because the measurements of freedom implied by it conflict with the intuitive comparisons which we normally make. Closer examinations of the nature of measurement and of the nature of act individuation show both of these criticisms to be ill founded.
Published version part: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/5195
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