Taking Freedom Seriously: Rousseau's Case For Interdependent Agency

Onderzoeksoutput: Unpublished paper


This essay aims at recalibrating normative ideas concerning the concept of freedom from a legal-historical and political-philosophical perspective. Theories of freedom that feature most prominently in contemporary debates are very much concentrating on one coherent way of thinking of freedom, in terms of negative liberties that is - and that it is most rational for us to expand our "cordon of rights", acting unrestrained in pursuit of our chosen ends. As a result of this relative hegemony, the political understanding of freedom and citizenship was largely forgotten. I will first argue that the negative/positive dichotomy has served us ill. In doing so, I will turn to what I take to be the essence of the republican (communitarian) critique of liberalism. This outline will constitute the stepping-stone for a second section in which I will try to recover the spirit of the neo-classical intellectual heritage into a historically sensitive account. I will thereby foremost draw on the political and literary works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1772-1778), still at the heart of contemporary debates on freedom and citizenship.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - dec 2014
EvenementBelgian-Dutch Legal History Conference - Brussels, Belgium
Duur: 11 dec 201412 dec 2014


ConferenceBelgian-Dutch Legal History Conference


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