Promoting Positive Liberty

In this Wireless Philosophy video, Geoff Pynn (Elgin Community College) contrasts negative liberty, the freedom from coercion, with positive liberty, the ability of individuals to pursue their goals and advance their own interests through rational deliberation and action. Promoting positive liberty through democracy may involve imposing certain types of restrictions that are assumed to be in our best interests, but does this infringe on our negative liberty? If promoting positive liberty justifies coercion, might democracy risk hurting the interests of minorities?

Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Elgin Community College

I work at Northern Illinois University. I teach on a wide range of topics. My research centers on epistemology. I’m also interested in creating connections between professional philosophers and ordinary people.

From 2011-2017, I was the the graduate adviser for NIU’s successful MA program in philosophy. I maintain a listing of funding at MA programs in the US and Canada.

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