The Instability of Freedom as Non-interference: The Case of Isaiah Berlin

25 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015

See all articles by Philip N. Pettit

Philip N. Pettit

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

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In Hobbes freedom of choice requires non-frustration: the option you prefer must be accessible. In Berlin it requires non-interference: every option, preferred or un-preferred, must be accessible, every door open. But Berlin’s argument against Hobbes suggests a parallel argument that freedom requires something stronger still: that each option be accessible and that no one be in a position to block access at will and with impunity; the doors should be open and there should be no powerful door-keepers. This is freedom as non-domination. Equating freedom with non-interference is an unstable alternative to equating it with non-frustration or non-domination.

Keywords: Hobbes, freedom, non-interference, non-domination, Berlin, Republicanism, Liberalism

Suggested Citation

Pettit, Philip N., The Instability of Freedom as Non-interference: The Case of Isaiah Berlin (2011). Ethics, Vol. 121, pp. 693-716, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699263

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

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