Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program

Political Studies

Project Advisor 1

David Kettler

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Western political tradition of constitutional Democracy is founded upon a particular conceptualization of Freedom. This concept of Freedom is called the negative liberty because it imagines Freedom as the absence of something, namely external constraints. However, with the idea of negative freedom necessarily appears another kind of freedom: the positive view of freedom. This view is that of the presence of an actor who is in control of the decision making of his own actions. The failure of political theorist to combine coherently the two ideas of freedom has caused important issues for the political projects of modern democracy. Hannah Arendt and John Stuart Mill both depart from this simplistic view of freedom. By contrasting the ideas of the two thinkers, this works wished to provide new perspectives through which we can conceptualize human freedom.

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