Law and Liberty

LAW AND REPUBLICANISM, Samantha Besson and Jose Luis Marti, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

Princeton Law and Public Affairs Working Paper No. 08-010

31 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2008

See all articles by Philip N. Pettit

Philip N. Pettit

Princeton University; Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Date Written: October 8, 2008

Abstract

The consensus since Bentham has been that law in itself is a restriction of freedom and that it is justified only if it perpetrates less restriction than it prevents. But there is an alternative view of the relationship between law and liberty, which draws on the older republican way of thinking that Bentham rejected. And this view has powerful support. Freedom on this approach requires not living under the uncontrolled will of another, where such a will may be imposed, not just by active interference, but also in other ways: say, by silent intimidation. Let the law represent the will of the community. Is it a will that in itself makes citizens unfree? Not if it is appropriately controlled. And can law be appropriately controlled? Arguably, yes.

Suggested Citation

Pettit, Philip N., Law and Liberty (October 8, 2008). LAW AND REPUBLICANISM, Samantha Besson and Jose Luis Marti, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming; Princeton Law and Public Affairs Working Paper No. 08-010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1281157

Philip N. Pettit (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

305 Marx Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-4759 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~ppettit/

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,060
Abstract Views
3,230
rank
20,511
PlumX Metrics