from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Wastemen: The Home FrontSaturday, 23rd May 2015 02:55 - BBC TwoIn the first of the series, Christmas is coming. And the most magical time of the year brings with it enormous... Read more: Wastemen: The Home Front
Thinking Allowed: Poverty in Britain and unemployment as a choiceMonday, 25th May 2015 00:15 - BBC Radio 4
OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - SexMonday, 25th May 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - SexTuesday, 26th May 2015 02:00 - BBC Four
Inside The Medieval Mind: KnowledgeAvailable until Saturday, 20th June 2015 00:00Explore the way medieval eyes saw the world – a place of mystery, enchantment, culminating in birth of the modern... Read more: OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Knowledge
Thinking Allowed: Poverty in Britain and unemployment as a choiceAvailable until Friday, 20th May 2016 12:00
Inside The Medieval Mind: KnowledgeAvailable until Saturday, 20th June 2015 00:00
Secret History Of... Portland RoadAvailable until Friday, 19th June 2015 02:20
What do you think about OpenLearn? Take the 2015 surveyThe OU is conducting a survey investigating how people use our free content. The aim is to... Read more: What do you think about OpenLearn? Take the 2015 survey
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Introduction to bookkeeping and accountingLearn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free... Try: Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
Two concepts of freedom
What defines individual freedom in a civilised society? Philosophers have argued over...
What defines individual freedom in a civilised society? Philosophers have argued over such questions for centuries. This unit looks at various concepts of freedom, asking you to think carefully about how freedom is restricted by our place in society and how it can vary from state to state.
By the end of this unit you should:
- be able to distinguish between negative and positive concepts of freedom;
- have a good knowledge of the main points in Isaiah Berlin's article ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’;
- be able to recognise emotive language, to distinguish between necessary truths and contingent facts, and to appreciate what is involved in refutation by counterexample.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introducing the concept of freedom
- 2 The word ‘freedom’
- 3 Isaiah Berlin's ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ (1958)
- 4 Conclusion
- Next steps
Two concepts of freedom
‘Freedom’ can mean many different things. Here we're concerned with political freedom. Isaiah Berlin distinguished between a concept of negative freedom and a concept of positive freedom. You will examine these concepts and learn to recognise the difference between freedom from constraint and the freedom that comes from self-mastery or self-realisation.
The following material is taken from the book Arguments for Freedom ‘1999’ authored by Nigel Warburton of The Open University.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Philosophy course units or view the range of currently available OU Philosophy courses.