Module 6: Freedom

6.4 Berlin on Freedom

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This week we have two 20th century philosophers, each of whom offers a different way of analyzing different views of liberty.  In “Two Concepts of Liberty,” Isaiah Berlin describes two basic types of arguments about freedom or liberty:  positive liberty and negative liberty.  In the pdf linked below, read “The Notion of Negative Freedom”  (pp. 15-22) and “The One and the Many” (pp. 29-34).  See if you can figure out where the views of Rousseau, Mill and Marx fall in these categories.  One thing to keep in mind:  Berlin is arguing that “positive” liberty is the more dangerous view and that we should stick with “negative” liberty.  

Excerpts from Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty”

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Political Science 160 by Zumbrunnen, John is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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