Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

A Philosophy of Freedom

Translated by Kerri Pierce
Freedom of speech, religion, choice, will—humans have fought, and continue to fight, for all of these. But what is human freedom really? Taking a broad approach across metaphysics, politics, and ethics, Lars Svendsen explores this question in his engaging book, while also looking at the threats freedom faces today. Though our behaviors, thoughts, and actions are restricted by social and legal rules, deadlines, and burdens, Svendsen argues that the fundamental requirement for living a human life is the ability to be free.
A Philosophy of Freedom questions how we can successfully create meaningful lives when we are estranged from the very concept of freedom. Svendsen tackles such issues as the nature of free agency and the possibility of freedom in a universe governed by natural laws. He concludes that the true definition of personal freedom is first and foremost the liberty to devote yourself to what really matters to you—to realize the true value of the life you are living. Drawing on the fascinating debates around the possibility of freedom and its limits within society, this comprehensive investigation provides an accessible and insightful overview that will appeal to academics and general readers alike.

288 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2014

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Ontology of Freedom

1. To Act Voluntarily
2. Freedom and Determinism
3. Reactive and Objective Attitudes
4. Autonomy

Part 2: The Politics of Freedom

5. The Liberal Democracy
6. Positive and Negative Freedom
7. A Republican Concept of Freedom
8. Freedom and Equality
9. Liberal Rights
10. Paternalism
11. Informational Privacy
12. Freedom of Expressions

Part 3: The Ethics of Freedom

13. Realizing Freedom


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press