Political Science

Topics: Liberalism, Political philosophy, Civil liberties Pages: 4 (1062 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Q)Explain the concept of liberty. What are its different forms? Can liberty exist without equality?
Liberty is the value of individuals to have agency (control over their own actions). Different conceptions of liberty articulate the relationship of individuals to society in different ways—including some that relate to life under a social contract or to existence in a state of nature, and some that see the active exercise of freedom and rights as essential to liberty. Understanding liberty involves how we imagine the individual's roles and responsibilities in society in relation to concepts of free will and determinism, which involves the larger domain of metaphysics. Individualist and classical liberal conceptions of liberty typically consist of the freedom of individuals from outside compulsion or coercion, also known asnegative liberty. This conception of liberty, which coincides with the libertarian point-of-view, suggests that people should, must, and ought to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions, while in contrast, Social liberal conceptions of (positive liberty) liberty place an emphasis upon social structure and agency and is therefore directed toward ensuring egalitarianism. In feudal societies, a "liberty" was an area of allodialland where the rights of the ruler or monarch were waived.

Different forms of liberty

1. Natural Liberty:
It is the liberty which men enjoyed in the imaginary 'state of nature' when civil society did not exist. It is generally identified with unlimited and unrestricted freedom. Rousseau was the chief exponent of the concept of natural liberty. In his opinion, man lost natural liberty with the emergence of the state or civil society. But such a concept of liberty is illusory. It is license, not liberty.

2. Civil Liberty:
It implies freedom enjoyed by the people in civil society. It denotes the civil rights guaranteed by the state. Civil rights consist in the right to...
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