Freedom and Autonomy
The ideal of autonomy, together with pluralism, underlies the doctrine of political freedom. Autonomy underlies both positive and negative freedom. Toleration is underpinned by the competitive pluralism that is essential to autonomy. Autonomy is consistent with perfectionism, yet also underlies the ‘harm principle’, which asserts that the only purpose for which the law may use its coercive power is to prevent harm. Perfectionism and the harm principle are consistent with one another because the recommended type of perfectionism abjures coercion, focusing instead on maintaining the framework conditions that are conducive for pluralism and autonomy.
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