Non-domination and pure negative liberty
The central insights of Philip Pettitâ€™s republican account of liberty are that (1) freedom consists in the absence of domination and (2) non-domination is not reducible to what is commonly called â€˜negative libertyâ€™. Recently, however, Matthew Kramer and Ian Carter have questioned whether the harms identified by Pettit under the banner of domination are not equally well accounted for by what they call the â€˜pure negativeâ€™ view. In this article, first I argue that Pettitâ€™s response to their criticism is problematic insofar as it produces the following dilemma: either Pettit must concede that domination which one regards as consistent with oneâ€™s own best interests does not limit oneâ€™s freedom or he must embrace the implication that one can be forced to be free, a result he explici tly wants to avoid. Second, I argue that, despite the inadequacy of Pettitâ€™s response, he is ultimately right in thinking that domination and negative liberty are sometimes compatible. My central contention, then, is that neither Pettitâ€™s non-domination view nor Carter and Kramerâ€™s pure negative view are able to account for the loss of liberty one suffers under conditions of domination.
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