Freedom and Culture in Western Society



1 General introduction

Cultural participation in Western liberal democracies  1

Positive and negative freedom  2

The emancipation dilemma  4

Essentially contested concepts  6

Task and method of political science  7

Structure of the discourse  10


2 Isaiah Berlin on positive and negative freedom

Introduction  13

Berlin’s philosophy  15

      Epistemology and theory of science 


      Value relativism?

Positive and negative freedom  24


      Negative liberty

      Positive liberty

      Historical derailments of positive freedom

      Necessary balancing of values

Some themes for discussion  34

      Privacy, self-determination, self-management and self development

      Inner impediments and higher goals

      Positive freedom and rationalism

      Freedom as a state or as an experience

      Superhuman coercion: social structures



3 Freedom of the individual

Introduction  46

      The interpretation of fundamentally disputed concepts

Frithjof Bergmann: the necessity of an identity  49

      Identification as a condition of freedom

      The definition of identity

      Some comments

Harry Frankfurt and the essence of man: second-order goals  53

Charles Taylor: qualitative evaluation, identity and the Good Life  55

      Strong evaluation and identity

      Life as a single narrative

      Articulation of the Good

      The limitations of the negative conception of freedom

      The inadequacy of the current culture of authenticity

      Some comments

Robert Young: life plan  66

Benjamin Barber: intentionalism  67

      Two models of freedom

      Three forms of coercion

      Freedom due to suppression of non-intentional behavi­our

      Freedom as struggle and regret

Provisional conclusions  71

Bruno Bettelheim: integrity and willpower  73

S.I.Benn: autharchy or broadmindedness  75

Richard Lindley: active theoretical rationality  76

John Benson: the courage to be free and to trust in others  77

Gerard Dworkin: qualifying moral originality  78

Joel Feinberg: the need for a starting-point and the right centre  79

Final conclusions  81

      Once again: negative and positive freedom


4 Freedom and society

Introduction  85

Absence of constraints and/or presence of opportunities  86

      Freedom as a triadic relation

      Positive freedom: distinguishing a larger number of constraints

      The theory-laden definition of obstacles and possibilities


Crawford Brough MacPherson: the right to (conditions of) free­dom  94

      Self-realization, democracy and scarcity

      The connection between freedom and its conditions

      Contradictions between, and perversions of, freedoms


Steven Lukes: the social conditions of individualism  103

      Three elements of freedom

      True respect for the individual

      Abstract conception of the individual

Charles Taylor: critique of atomism  107

      The impossible self-sufficiency of the individual

      Duties to society

Frithjof Bergmann: identification within the community  110

Discussion  112


      Open-ended self-development

      The value of isolation

Richard Norman: freedom and equality  116

      Negative and positive conditions of freedom

      Equality as a natural value within a cooperative

      Equality as the promotion of egalitarian social conditi­ons

      Conditions of equality

      Freedom and equality as harmonious values

Balance  122

      The democratic community versus liberal politics

      Freedom and the number of options: a proportional relation?

      The distinction between freedom and its conditions

      Right to the conditions of freedom?

      The inevitability of notions of common sense


5 Emancipation and paternalism

Introduction  136

On power and "real interests"  137

      Dahl, Bachrach & Baratz and Lukes on conceptions of power

      Lukes and Connolly on "real" interests

      Problems of the radical conception

      Structural determination or exercise of power

Smith: the incontestability of "real" interests  146

Ted Benton's emancipation paradox  149

Richard Lindley on dilemmas  151

Intermediary conclusions  154

Paternalism: some definitions and distinctions  158

John Stuart Mill's liberty principle  160

Joel Feinberg: paternalism and voluntariness  163

Gerald Dworkin: paternalism and rationality  163

Rosemary Carter: paternalism and consent  165

Donald VanDeVeer: against rationality and voluntariness  166

John Kleinig: paternalism guarantee of autonomy  168

Conclusions  170


6 Final balance and synthesis: freedom and cultural politics

Introduction  176

Positive and negative freedom  176

The emancipation dilemma  182

Paternalism and rationalism  185

Culture and autonomy  189

The burdens and benefits of freedom: autonomy or happiness?  193

More reasons to promote the dissemination of culture and autonomy  198


7 Cultural policy

Introduction  202

Cultural dissemination as policy objective  203

      Historic motives

      Converging policy traditions.

Social inequality in cultural participation  208

Trends in participation in cultural activities  210

      Reading books, journals and newspapers

      The rise of television viewing

      Discussion: typographic versus electronic culture

      Attendance for performing arts

      Visiting museums

      Receptive cultural participation at home and on the street

      Amateur art performance

      The elevation of the concept of art to "culture"


Determinants of cultural participation  231

      Available time

      Available financial resources

      Cultural competence

      Acquiring status and the drive to distinction


Cultural policy in practice  236


      The emphasis on the supply of facilities

Explanations of the one-sided emphasis on supply policy  243


      Incrementalism: short-term thinking and the influence of intere­sted parties

      Faith in spontaneous self-development

      Individualization as self-realisation

      Cultural relativism

Cultural politics within the culture of authenticity  247

      The concept of democracy

      The concept of culture

      Additional critique of the status theory

Towards a policy of cultural dissemination or demand  263


      The development of a normative cultural political fra­mework

      The social context: work and leisure

      Cultural education

      Media policy

      The narrowing of the gap between professionals and laymen

      Linking up with mass culture

      Amateur art performance

      Involving social organizations

      Evoking the drive to distinction

      Architecture and design


8 Epilogue

Notes  277

Bibliography: Freedom and autonomy  296

Bibliography: Arts and culture  304

Name index  311

Subject index 315