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Essay: The Concept of Positive Freedom

Sample Essay

The supporters for positive freedom argue that if a slave is satisfied with the situation then she is free andBerlinmoved further to state that this meant that if a person has a wounded leg, there are going to be two ways to cure it; one would be to cure and if there is no cure then the other one would be to amputate the leg. But if the person is satisfied with the situation where her leg is being cut off then she is free! Therefore, negative freedom focuses on the external factors of the environment it can save the society from authoritarianism (Berlin, Isaiah, 1969).

In negative freedom a person is free to anything that pleases but as far as other’s sacrosanct space of personal liberty is not being affected or infringed. Humboldt and Mill, supporters of negative liberty stated that humans must be let to grow like plants where their personal development is their choice and comes from within theindividual. Although critics say that the concept propsed by Humboldt and Mill is more of positive liberty.Berlinhas had such influence on this subject that negative liberty has been of more value compared to positive liberty but it is the dissatisfaction with negative liberty that prevails today and alsoBerlin’s strong stance towards negative liberty, that has encouraged more work done on positive liberty (Berlin, Isaiah, 1958). John Christman (1991), has moved forward to argue that positive liberty considers only the way in which desires are formed that is through pressure, manipulation or ignorance etc but the concept ignores the content of the person’s desires. Christman proposed that if a case preaches individual autonomy then such state still has the space to bring about certain interventions that are informative or educational in nature and will serve for the good of all (Christman, John; 1991).

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