Isaiah Berlin made a now classic distinction between negative and positive conceptions of freedom. In this book Yildiz Silier introduces a fresh way of looking at these conceptions and presents a new defence of the positive conception of freedom. Revealing how the internal debate between various versions of negative freedom give rise to hybrid conceptions of freedom which in turn are superseded by various versions of the positive conception of freedom, Silier concludes that Marx's concrete historical account of positive freedom resolves many of the key debates in this area and provides a fruitful framework to evaluate the freedoms and unfreedoms that are specific to capitalism. This book examines the thought of the paradigm thinkers in this debate, F.A. Hayek on negative freedom and T.H. Green on positive freedom and then ranges over the contributions to this debate made by both classical thinkers such as Kant, Hegel, and Marx, and those involved in contemporary debates on communitarianism, capitalism and self-determination, such as C. Taylor, D. Miller, F. Oppenheim and C.B. Macpherson.
Contents: Introduction; Part I The Negative Conception of Freedom: Hayek's notion of freedom; Constraints on freedom; Free action, free person and free society; Limits of negative freedom in capitalism; The hybrid view. Part II The Positive Conception of Freedom: Green's notion of freedom; Kant on rational self-determination; Hegel on concrete freedom; Communitarians on the social context of freedom; Freedom as the power for self-determination; The historical account: freedoms and unfreedoms in capitalism. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.