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Between ethics and right: Kantian politics and democratic purposes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2012
JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy
Journal number3
Volume20
Number of pages8
Pages479-486
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Arthur Ripstein's Force and Freedom insists that, ‘Freedom, understood as independence of another person’s choice, is [all] that matters’. In this paper I suggest that this premise leads Ripstein to an instrumentalisation of democracy which neglects a properly public and collective notion of freedom. The paper first criticises Ripstein’s key argument against any extension of public purposes beyond the upholding of persons’ ‘independence of others’ choice’. More constructively, the paper then suggests that a space of public freedom is opened up when people deliberate in order to form and pursue democratic purposes. Citizens may act together to promote ends that they think are worthwhile, without dominating one another or restricting individual freedom.