Abstract

The objective of this paper is to combine two orthogonal conceptions of political liberty into one heuristic. The liberal and republican conceptions of liberty are the dominant explanations of political liberty: the former consisting in the absence of restraint, and the latter in the absence of domination. I argue that neither of these conceptions is adequate on its own. Using either in isolation leads to gaps, occasions in which we might wish to describe a person as unfree without the resources from either conception allowing us to do so. Therefore, I provide a heuristic that allows combining both conceptions into one conceptual plane. I hope also to describe the underlying dimension on which I place both the liberal and republican conceptions, invoking Nussbaum’s and Sen’s conceptions of capabilities.

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