Front Page Titles (by Subject) Clarifying Freedom - Literature of Liberty, October/December 1978, vol. 1, No. 4
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Clarifying Freedom - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, October/December 1978, vol. 1, No. 4 
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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“The Concept of Freedom in Berlin and Others: An Attempt at Clarification.” The Journal of Value Inquiry 10 (Winter 1976): 279–285.
We need to clarify the ambiguous and nettlesome concept of freedom in social and political philosophy.
In particular, we need to criticize the traditional distinction between positive and negative freedom found in the works of Isaiah Berlin, Maurice Cranston, H.J. McCloskey, Erich Fromm, and John Rawls.
Loenen argues that there are indeed two concepts of freedom but that the traditional terminology of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ freedom is infelicitous and even misleading. Moreover, the traditional terminology is unhelpful in treating substantive issues such as the value, justification, and the proper scope of freedom. A more helpful distinction would be freedom as “not being interfered with from without” from freedom as “not being determined from without.”
Particularly misleading is Isaiah Berlin's use of the traditional terminology. Berlin's view that ‘positive’ freedom means “being one's own master” (and, through ambiguity, this becomes “being master of oneself”) plagues the concept of positive freedom with a perplexing and perhaps indefensible distinction between two ‘selves’.
Another flaw in the traditional terminology is that ‘negative’ freedom as ‘the absence of restraints’ conjures up for some the image of a free person inactive or passive. This ambiguity thereby leads some to overlook the important ‘positive aspect’ of ‘negative’ freedom: its connection with activity and choice, that is, with freedom to do things.
Following Hayek and others, Loenen defines the central question for substantive social and political philosophy as not whether the individual is interfered with in some ‘absolute’ sense, but whether he is to live in a free society, one that assures him of some “inviolable ‘area’” of choice and action. If the author is correct, traditional definitions of ‘negative’ freedom will be of little use in this debate.
Loenen further argues that freedom as noninterference has intrinsic value, but he judges that this value is fully revealed only by the specifications of freedom (e.g., freedom of the press). A succinct, accurate, and felicitous terminology for distinctions among kinds of freedom remains to be devised.