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The assumption that there must be a core concept of freedom common to all contested conceptions misrepresents the nature of the disputes. Typically, protagonists accuse each other of espousing conceptions which are not conceptions of freedom at all, but which are rather conceptions of power, opportunity, will, self-realization, and so forth. To assume that there is a core concept of freedom common to all conceptions is to assume agreement on at least some essential characteristics of freedom. But, for example, those who regard freedom as essentially "negative" will reject MacCallum's schema as too broad; those who believe that freedom is essentially self-realization will reject it as too narrow.

CHRISTINE SWANTON, Freedom: A Coherence Theory


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