All FSI Publications Journal Article

What (If Anything) is Wrong with Positive Liberty?

March 23, 2021

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and SocietyIsaiah Berlin’s criticisms of positive liberty are often read as mere artefacts of his Cold War context. But are they good criticisms? This article evaluates Berlin’s three main worries about positive liberty—the inner-citadel worry, the moralization worry, and the tyranny worry. I find that while they may be reasonable worries to have about any concept of liberty, they are not compelling criticisms of positive liberty in particular.