- The Oxford Handbook of Freedom
- Self-Ownership as a Form of Ownership
- Positive Freedom and the General Will
- Moralized Conceptions of Liberty
- On the Conflict Between Liberty and Equality
- Freedom and Equality
- The Point of Self-Ownership
- Platonic Freedom
- Aristotelian Freedom
- Freedom in the Scholastic Tradition
- Freedom, Slavery, and Identity in Renaissance Florence: The Faces of Leon Battista Alberti
- Freedom and Enlightenment
- Adam Smith’s Libertarian Paternalism
- Market Failure, the Tragedy of the Commons, and Default Libertarianism in Contemporary Economics and Policy
- Planning, Freedom, and the Rule of Law
- Freedom, Regulation, and Public Policy
- Boundaries, Subjection to Laws, and Affected Interests
- Democracy and Freedom
- Can Constitutions Limit Government?
- Freedom and Religion
- Freedom and Influence in Formative Education
- Freedom and the (Posthumous) Harm Principle
- Exploitation and Freedom
- Voluntariness, Coercion, Self-ownership
- The Impartial Spectator and the Moral Teachings of Markets
- Disciplinary Specialization and Thinking for Yourself
- Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment
- Prisoners of Misbelief: The Epistemic Conditions of Freedom
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter shows how one understanding of positive liberty—freedom as reasoned control—is presupposed by relations of moral responsibility. Rousseau’s “quixotic quest”—insuring that all subjects of the moral law remain morally free—is necessary to maintain responsibility relations within a moral community. Unless all are free to exercise reasoned control in accepting moral demands, they cannot be held responsible for failure to comply. We then inquire whether the concept of the general will can reconcile positive freedom and moral responsibility with regulation by a common moral law. Rousseau’s account seems inappropriate for a deeply diverse society because it holds that the general will arises from an essential identity of citizens’ interests. Instead, Bosanquet’s work suggests two contemporary proposals for ways in which a diverse society might share a general will, explaining in turn how its members are all fit to be held responsible for violating its moral rules.
Piper L. Bringhurst is a PhD Student in Philosophy at the University of Arizona.
Gerald Gaus is the James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, and Director of the program in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.