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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Freedom and equality are often viewed as conflicting values. But there are at least three conceptions of freedom-negative, positive, and republican-and three conceptions of equality-of standing, esteem, and authority. Libertarians argue that rights to negative liberty override claims to positive liberty. However, a freedom-based defense of private property rights must favor positive over negative freedom. Furthermore, a regime of full contractual alienability of rights-on the priority of negative over republican freedom-is an unstable basis for a free society. To sustain a free society over time, republican liberty must take priority over negative liberty, resulting in a kind of authority egalitarianism. Finally, the chapter discusses how the values of freedom and equality bear on the definition of property rights. The result is a qualified defense of some core features of social democratic orders.

Keywords: freedom, equality, property rights, inalienable rights, libertarianism

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