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The Material Conditions of Freedom

Love, Suzanne M. (2018) The Material Conditions of Freedom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Freedom is constantly invoked in arguments for the free market and against socioeconomic rights. Contrary to this common view, I argue that respecting freedom requires both robust socioeconomic rights and the rejection of capitalism. In making these arguments, I rely on Kant’s conception of the right to freedom as the right to direct one’s own will in the external world consistently with others’ rights to do the same. Although Kant himself might seem to take private ownership and capitalist exchange for granted, I argue that Kantian freedom entails neither. We must rethink what it takes for our choice of a regime of ownership and exchange to be compatible with the right to freedom. I argue that this right is violated whenever we institute or maintain regimes that deny to some the material resources required for agency or equal citizenship. Further, I argue that capitalism undermines the right to democratic self-government entailed by the right to freedom. The free market, then, is inconsistent with freedom.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Love, Suzanne M.sul31@pitt.edusul31
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPallikkathayil,
Committee MemberEngstrom,
Committee MemberThompson,
Committee MemberHerman,
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 April 2018
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 19 July 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 152
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kant, Marx, ownership, property, capitalism
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 22:58
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 22:58

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