Freedom and Opportunity

Martin Van Hees, Marcel Wissenburg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The article discusses recent attempts in rational choice theory to take account of the opportunity aspect of freedom, i.e., the value of alternatives, in measuring freedom. It is argued that each of these approaches (in terms of fixed preferences, of possible future preferences and of the preferences of reasonable persons) fails to solve important conceptual problems. Furthermore, we argue that differences between measures of opportunity freedom reflect different moral standards for the quality of alternatives, not different conceptions of freedom as such. Hence, we propose to separate discussions about the meaning of the concept of freedom from the issue of determining the value of opportunity sets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Freedom and Opportunity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this