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A Measure of Freedom - Ian Carter

A Measure of Freedom

Paperback Published: 1st March 1999
ISBN: 9780198294535
Number Of Pages: 328

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It is often said that one person or society is `freer' than another, or that people have a right to equal freedom, or that freedom should be increased or even maximized. Such quantitative claims about freedom are of great importance to us, forming an essential part of our political discourse and theorizing. Yet their meaning has been surprisingly neglected by political philosophers until now. Ian Carter provides the first systematic account of the nature and importance of our judgements about degrees of freedom. He begins with an analysis of the normative assumptions behind the claim that individuals are entitled to a measure of freedom, and then goes on to ask whether it is indeed conceptually possible to measure freedom. Adopting a coherentist approach, the author argues for a conception of freedom that not only reflects commonly held intuitions about who is freer than who but is also compatible with a liberal or freedom-based theory of justice.

Industry Reviews

`excellent ... Those interested in philosophical issues about liberty will find this book very worthwhile' James W. Nickel, Law and Philosophy `bristles with interesting ideas, arguments, and perspectives' James W. Nickel, Law and Philosophy `an interesting and provacative book' James W. Nickel, Law and Philosophy A Measure of Freedom will provide a large measure of satisfaction to readers with a taste for provocative and inveomice philosophical arumentation `ambitious and challenging' Dan Hausman, The Economic Journal (Feb 2001) `A Measure of Freedom will nevertheless provide a large measure of satisfaction to readers with a taste for provocative and inventive philosophical argumentation.' Dan Hausman, Journal of the History of Economic Thought `Thus it seems that in order to measure the quantity of freedom, one needs to take account of the diversity and the value of the alternatives that are open to an agent. Carter challenges these plausible views. Diversity does matter, but only insofar as it reflects differences in the extent of freedom (pp.198-204).' Dan Hausman, Journal of the History of Economic Thought `Claims about quantities of overall freedom are empty unless there is some way to measure them, and Carter accordingly discusses how they should in principle be measured as well as what sort of practical measurements are feasible. He boldly takes issue with the view, which has been endorsed by both philosophers and economists, that one needs to take into account the value and diversity of alternatives open to an agent, rather than merely their number of "extent."' Dan Hausman, Journal of the History of Economic Thought `Although this book will mainly be of interest to philosophers, Carter's striking arguments will be of value to economists working on questions concerning the formal representation of freedom. The issues with which A Measure of Freedom is concerned are however also of general interest.' Dan Hausman, Journal of the History of Economic Thought `In this ambitious and challenging book, Ian Carter argues that in addition to specific freedoms, such as the freedom to quit one's job or the freedom to vote, there is such a thing as "overall freedom."' Dan Hausman, Journal of the History of Economic Thought `the book leaves advocates and opponents of the freedom-based theory of justice with a challenging research agenda.' Jurgen de Wispelare, Political Studies, Vol.48, No.4, Sept.00. `excellent book ... incisive ... does a great deal to revitalize a traditional and intuitively appealing strand of liberal thought.' Thomas Hurka, TLS Nov 3, 2000. `The book is a stimulating contribution to the literature on liberalism to its past and placing its current versions in a revealing new light.' Thomas Hurka, TLS Nov 3, 2000. Reviewed in Moneta e Credito, 1999

Introduction PART I: JUSTICE AND OVERALL FREEDOM 1: The Concept of Overall Freedom 2: The Value of Freedom 3: The Distribution of Freedom 4: Reflective Equilibrium PART II: VALUE-BASED FREEDOM 5: The Value-Based Approach 6: Self-Mastery PART III: EMPIRICAL FREEDOM 7: Individual Freedom: Actions 8: Individual Freedom: Constraints 9: Group Freedom 10: Indicators of Freedom Conclusion Bibliography

ISBN: 9780198294535
ISBN-10: 0198294530
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st March 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.61