Abstract

What might be termed ‘the problem of morality’ concerns how freedom–restricting principles may be justified, given that we value our freedom. Perhaps an answer can be found in freedom itself. For if the most obvious reason for rejecting moral demands is that they invade one's personal freedom, then the price of freedom from invasive demands that others would otherwise make may well require everyone accepting freedom in general, say, as a value that provides sufficient reason for adhering to principles that serve to maximize, or at least safeguard, freedom in general. But then it is precisely such a value, freedom in general, which can be argued to ground an adequate moral system. Hence whereas the value of freedom appears at first sight to pose problems for moral systems, it can be employed to ground a certain variety of them.

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