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The Quality of Freedom$
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Matthew H. Kramer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247561

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199247560.001.0001

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On Ascertaining the Extent of Everyone's Overall Freedom

On Ascertaining the Extent of Everyone's Overall Freedom

(p.358) 5 On Ascertaining the Extent of Everyone's Overall Freedom
The Quality of Freedom

H. Matthew Kramer

Oxford University Press

Shifts the focus from particular freedoms and unfreedoms to the enterprise of gauging people's levels of overall liberty. In order to ascertain such a level for each person P, we have to ascertain every combination of conjunctively exercisable freedoms that is available to P (in other words, every combination made up of freedoms that can be exercised together by P either simultaneously or sequentially). We likewise have to ascertain every combination of opportunities that are not conjunctively exercisable by P and that lack conjunctive exercisability because of some action(s) by some other person(s). A key portion of the chapter explains how the elements in each combination are to be individuated, so that every combination can be expressed numerically. Moreover, the second half of the chapter argues that the level of anyone's overall liberty is determined in part by evaluative considerations, which can themselves be expressed numerically.

Keywords:   evaluation, freedom, liberty, measurement, opportunities, unfreedom

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