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    Prevention, coercion, and two concepts of negative liberty

    Garnett, Michael (2022) Prevention, coercion, and two concepts of negative liberty. In: McBride, Mark and Kurki, V.A.J. (eds.) Without Trimmings: The Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy of Matthew Kramer. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198868866.

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    This paper argues that there are two, irreducibly distinct negative concepts of liberty: freedom as non-prevention and freedom as non-coercion. Contemporary proponents of the negative view, such as Matthew Kramer and Ian Carter, have sought to develop the Hobbesian idea that freedom is essentially a matter of physical non-prevention. Accordingly, they have sought to reduce the freedom-diminishing effect of coercion to that of prevention by arguing that coercive threats function to diminish freedom by preventing people from performing certain combinations of actions. Against this, this paper argues that coercion diminishes people’s freedom in ways that cannot be fully captured in terms of prevention. Focusing on two types of case, those involving coercive threats and those involving coercive preference manipulation, it argues that non-coercion and physical non-prevention are importantly different goods. It concludes that a complete negative account of liberty must draw not only on the (Hobbesian) ‘non-prevention’ strand of the negative tradition but also on its (Benthamite and Hayekian) ‘non-coercion’ strands.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): freedom, liberty, coercion, prevention, manipulation, negative freedom, positive freedom
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Michael Garnett
    Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 13:20
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:13


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