Front Page Titles (by Subject) Freedom in Kant, Hegel, and Marx - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3
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Freedom in Kant, Hegel, and Marx - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Freedom in Kant, Hegel, and Marx
“Three Concepts of Freedom: Kant-Hegel-Marx.” Interpretation 7 (January 1978): 27–51.
Kant, Hegel, and Marx are three influential writers on freedom. Though often condemned, their philosophies can be seen in a more favorable light if they are considered as dialectically related to one another.
Kant's idea of freedom depends upon his distinction between the phenomena of the everyday world and the noumenon, or thing-in-itself. It is only the noumenal self that is free; the empirical self is determined by outward events. Kant's conception wrongly reduces freedom to a purely inner state. One can be free, in his view, even under a despotic government. He believed, however, that one could deduce by pure reason the proper principles of political organization. His ideas on philosophy of law have been very influential.
Hegel criticized Kant's views on freedom for being unhistorical. It is only in society that true freedom can exist. The notion of freedom as arbitrary will most particularly be rejected. Furthermore, freedom develops concretely in history by means of struggle.
The latter theme Marx took up and greatly expanded. He argued that each social system has its own conception of freedom, as determined by the system's economic development. Marx himself, in contrast to his Stalinist disciples, was a strong proponent of freedom of the press. He believed that true freedom could exist only if the state ceased to exist.