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Title: Freedom and its distribution
Author: Schmidt, Andreas Tupac
ISNI:       0000 0004 4366 1642
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation develops a new theory of specific and overall socio-political freedom and discusses its role in normative political theory. The aim is to dissolve some of the conceptual confusions that have often beset previous discussions and to develop a theoretical framework with which to approach questions of public policy. This dissertation consists of three parts. In the first part, I develop a new account that specifies under which conditions a person is specifically free and when she is unfree to do something. It is shown that republican accounts of freedom are unsatisfactory and that a trivalent liberal account that equates freedom with ability is most plausible. A new analysis of unfreedom is defended according to which a person is made unfree (as opposed to merely unable) to do something only if she would have this freedom in a better and available distribution that another person could have foreseeably brought about. In the second part, I discuss how to move from an account of specific freedom and unfreedom to a measure of overall freedom. I develop a new and simple aggregation function and argue that the measurement of overall freedom requires both quantitative and evaluative factors. In the third part, I then discuss what role freedom should play in a theory of distributive justice. Instead of freedom deontologically constraining the reach of distributive justice, freedom should be one of its distribuenda. I will first discuss how best to distribute freedom across a person’s lifetime and how this impacts on discussions of paternalistic policies. It will then be shown that we ought not simply maximise freedom between persons, not aim to give everyone enough freedom nor aim at equal freedom. Instead, distributing freedom requires a principle that combines maximisation with a concern for fairness.
Supervisor: Miller, David; Broome, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ethics (Moral philosophy) ; Social justice ; Political philosophy ; Political theory ; Freedom ; liberty ; liberalism ; republicanism ; measurement ; justice