Sample Essay

Positive liberty is to take control of one’s life, realize one’s potential and make effective use of oneself. Negative liberty is the absence of restrictions, boundaries and limits. Positive liberty is attributed to collectivities whereas negative liberty is attributed toindividuals. In order to lay the groundwork to prove which one of the either is of more value, it isessential to clearly distinguish between the two.

The two concepts can be distinguished on the basis of social and political philosophy. Isaiah Berlin was the first one to set the distinguishing factors amongst the two types of liberty and Kant has made major contributions to the subject as well. Berlin had an interesting yet deep perspective regarding the two concepts of not just being two types rather two rivals that are not compatible but both sprung out of a single political idealogy. On the political front liberalism has a negative meaning to it since individual liberty requires constraints on the state and in order to build up a self-realising and self determined liberal individual there is a need to have certain and effective interventions from the state  (Berlin, Isaiah, 1969).

An individual free of greed, lust and internal constraints is positively liberal since it’s the true soul of a person much more dominant (Erich, 1966). This concept encourages to have strict laws and regulations to ensure rational behaviour by all that is a world based on positive liberty shall be free of greed such as gambling, unnatural acts such as homosexuality and lust such as adultery of all kinds. The truth holds primary importance and everything is morally defined (Heywood, A; 2004).

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Essay: Liberty- Negative or Portive
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