II.  Two Concepts of Liberty/Freedom

 

            1. Negative Liberty:  no interference by other people (in one's acts)

 

            2. Positive Liberty:  Rational Autonomy 

 

            THE FIRST ARGUMENT TO LIMIT LIBERTY FOR THE SAKE OF LIBERTY: It is necessary to limit the negative freedom of the "false" self to promote the positive freedom of the "true" (RATIONALLY AUTONOMOUS) self.  [No guarantee of any negative freedom--e.g., of any freedom to make “mistakes”.]

 

                        b. The Problem of Promoting Positive Liberty:  A State That Has the Power to Promote Positive Liberty Will Also Have the Power to Suppress Negative Liberty.

 

 

BERLIN'S DIAGNOSIS OF THE MISTAKE MADE BY ADVOCATES OF POSITIVE LIBERTY

 

Monism Premise:  There is a truth about how different people's different ends ought to be reconciled with each other (e.g., Utilitarianism). 

 

Assumption #1:  If there were such a truth, it would be knowable a priori (on the basis of reason alone).

 

Assumption #2:  If such a truth were knowable a priori, there would be a decision procedure for determining it.

 

Assumption #3:  If there were a decision procedure for determining such a truth, it would be a purely technical question, to be determined by experts. 

 

Conclusion that Berlin denies:  The question of how different people's ends ought to be reconciled with each other is a purely technical question that can be determined by experts. 

 

Arguing dialectically, Berlin singles out the Monism premise as the source of the problem.  But note that one could accept the Monism Premise and reject one or more of the three assumptions.

 

 

III.  Hobbesian Negative Liberty

 

            A.  Hobbesian Negative Liberty:  Everyone has a right to maximal negative liberty.  Result:  the "war of all against all" (no PROTECTED SPHERE)

 

            THE SECOND ARGUMENT TO LIMIT LIBERTY FOR THE SAKE OF LIBERTY:  It is necessary to limit negative freedom in order to guarantee to everyone some less than maximal but more than minimal sphere of equal negative freedom (i.e., a PROTECTED SPHERE OF EQUAL LIBERTY).

 

 

IV.  The Subject of This Course:  Theories of (Moral) Rights as Rights to Negative Liberty = Rights to NON-INTERFERENCE (by other people) in one's PROTECTED SPHERE. 

 

            A.  A theory of this kind must tell us two things:

(1) What is inside the PROTECTED SPHERE?

(2) What counts as INTERFERENCE (or what counts as impermissible interference) in one's protected sphere?

 

            B.  In addition, we also would like the theory to EXPLAIN the source of such rights--that is, to answer the question:  What is the basis for rights to negative liberty?  This question will become clearer as the course proceeds.  But note that we distinguish this from attempting to give an apriori PROOF that we have such rights.

 

 

THREE TYPES OF THEORIES OF THE NATURE AND EXPLANATION/JUSTIFICATION OF RIGHTS TO A PROTECTED SPHERE OF EQUAL NEGATIVE LIBERTY

 

I.  Locke/Nozick/Hayek as Representative of LIBERTARIAN Theories

 

II.  Mill as Representative of UTILITARIAN Theories

 

III.  Rawls/Scanlon/Talbott as Representative of SOCIAL CONTRACT Theories.