Freedom, Coercion, and the Law
This chapter provides an analysis of neo‐liberal views about the idea of freedom. It is important for neo‐liberals that the absolutely central ideal of freedom should be compatible with a nomocratic order rather than embodying some controversial moral goods. This means that freedom has to be understood in a negative rather than a positive sense – that freedom is to be seen as the absence of coercion rather than being related to capacities and capabilities. This means that the idea of coercion also has to be subjected to close analysis since it is the absence of coercion which creates negative freedom. Again it is centrally important for the neo‐liberal that the idea of coercion should be free of positive moral content and has to be defined in a wholly empirical manner.
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