Freedom and the pursuit of the good: Exercising an opportunity concept

Culley, Ronald James Hector (2004) Freedom and the pursuit of the good: Exercising an opportunity concept. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

If freedom is thought of as an opportunity concept, what value does it have for individuals who are unable to take advantage of their opportunities because of ignorance or poverty. If one concedes that individuals ought to be granted certain basic liberties, then there must also be a corresponding effort to empower individuals in their pursuit of the good; for to be free without all-purpose means such as wealth and income is to have the worth of gene's freedom eroded. This simple theme, I argue, inspires egalitarian liberalism, whereby the state plays an active role in empowering individuals to pursue their self-chosen ends. Although this argument is advocated by the likes of Rawls and Berlin, the current literature pays insufficient attention to its force. In this thesis, I make amends for that omission. I infer certain social obligations from a commitment to negative liberty; I consider this rubric in the context of four variants of egalitarian liberalism; and I propose an array of social policies that flow from broader considerations on the worth of liberty.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Mike Lessnoff
Keywords: Philosophy
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-71179
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71179

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