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image of Hobbes Studies

This Reply first defends (against Cromartie) the claim that the 'neo-Roman' writers I discuss in my book held shared views about the nature of liberty. They all believe that freedom is taken away not merely by acts of interference but also by relations of domination and dependence. I argue (against Kukathas) that this commitment leads them to treat diminutions of the security with which we enjoy our liberty as diminutions of liberty itself. I take Hobbes to be opposing this position when he defines freedom as an absence of the kinds of external impediments that render actions within our powers impossible of performance. I question the suggestion (made by Cromartie) that Hobbes has a more extended view of the conditions that undermine liberty. I reaffirm (against Kukathas) that Hobbes's definition makes freedom an all-or-nothing matter, not a matter of degree. Finally, I restate (against Cromartie) my central contention that Hobbes's theory constitutes an attempt to challenge and discredit the rival neo-Roman account.


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