Counterfactual Success and Negative Freedom

Keith Dowding, Martin Van Hees

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent theories of negative freedom see it as a value-neutral concept; the definition of freedom should not be in terms of specific moral values. Specifically, preferences or desires do not enter into the definition of freedom. If preferences should so enter then Berlin's problem that a person may enhance their freedom by changing their preferences emerges. This paper demonstrates that such a preference-free conception brings its own counter-intuitive problems. It concludes that these problems might be avoided if the description of the constraints which specify an agent's lack of freedom include the intentions of those who constrain the agents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-162
Number of pages22
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


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