The Value of Freedom
It is important for liberals to make sense of claims about degrees of overall freedom because freedom is a fundamental value for liberals. Freedom is a fundamental value for liberals because liberals (at least implicitly) assume freedom to have non-specific value, or value as such. Freedom has non-specific value (value as such) not only if it has intrinsic value but also if it has non-specific instrumental value (e.g. as a means to social or economic progress) or non-specific constitutive value (e.g. as a part of the value of autonomy). Assertions or assumptions of freedom’s non-specific instrumental or constitutive value are made by many representatives of the liberal tradition, including J. S. Mill, Hobhouse and Hayek.
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