A Theory of Freedom: From the Psychology to the Politics of Agency

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Oxford University Press, 2001 - Philosophy - 193 pages
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In this short yet ambitious work, Philip Pettit offers a single, unified, and overarching theory of freedom. A puzzling topic, freedom extends from the individual and the metaphysical (i.e. free will) to the social and the political, yet a theory connecting these two realms has yet to be devised. In an elegant, accessible manner, Pettit presents a survey of available theories of freedom, then develops his own--one that manages to straddle the personal and political spheres. The view he develops--which includes the seemingly paradoxical notion that we are free to the extent that we are capable of being held responsible--will make this pioneering book highly important to a wide range of philosophers.
  

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Hardest book ever. But very rewarding. Read full review

Contents

Conceptualizing Freedom
6
Freedom as Rational Control
32
Freedom as Volitional Control
49
Freedom as Discursive Control
65
Freedom and Collectivization
104
Freedom and Politicization
125
Freedom and Democratization
152
Conclusion
175
References
180
Index
188
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About the author (2001)

Philip Pettit is at Columbia University, New York.

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