Is positive freedom helpful

Corona and the open Society

In the Corona crisis, states restricted the freedoms of their citizens in obviously different ways, for example through health policy regulations, triage decisions or the use of digital technology. In some countries there was an authoritarian policy, while in others, in other places as well, regulatory requirements that were largely accepted without complaint provoked populist counter-reactions. “Open societies” [1] are challenged by both extremes. In the first - authoritarian - case their freedom is attacked directly, in the second - libertarian - scenario the attack is indirect: by undermining the responsibility that is indispensable for any sustainable preservation of freedom. Both of these require a critique of the starting point of the idea of ​​freedom on which open societies are based. Anyone who would like to learn from the corona pandemic how future states of emergency can be overcome without damaging the democratic institutions and pluralistic cultures of liberal societies should, according to my thesis, also analyze the corona crisis as a challenge to the "open society" and its legitimacy bases .

Exceptional and emergency situations pose great challenges for all societies. However, while states that are organized according to the "command-and-control" principle rely on dictatorial decision-making and order procedures in times of crisis, the switch to "clear announcements from above" is more difficult for open societies. [2] What appears in non-democratic societies merely as an expansion of already dominant practices of rule represents a leap into unfamiliar forms of governance in pluralist democracies. While “over there” the dictum of power has always been legitimized with the (supposedly) better knowledge and ability of those in power become, get caught "hüben" - in the case of citizens of open societies who see themselves neither as subjects nor as minors - such strategies of legitimation only rarely. This is also shown by the different reactions to state crisis management in democratic societies, which, roughly simplified, can be divided into three groups.

First there are countries like Poland and Hungary where governments have used the crisis to accelerate ongoing movements towards increasingly authoritarian styles of governance. The argument to justify those developments was that, in the interests of the common good, one had to break away from an overemphasis on personal freedom anyway. The crisis only proves this further and increases the pressure to act.

Secondly A look at the USA shows the opposite: a society that, in the name of a (all too often narrowly understood libertarian) freedom, is increasingly resisting officially prescribed measures. This is directed against restrictions on individual freedom of movement as well as against the demand for more personal responsibility on the part of citizens for one another.

Both phenomena reinforce each other. Where freedom can boast irresponsible freedom of movement, the call for its authoritarian restriction follows immediately. Conversely, where authoritarian systems are on the rise, civilian reactance to any limitations on civil liberties increases. Both threaten the - not only for crisis management - essential social balance of individual freedom and social responsibility.

That will show third also in this country. Both tendencies can be found, albeit with varying proportions from country to country, in public opinion also in states that have found a viable way out of the crisis beyond dictation and chaos. In the Federal Republic of Germany, for example, some argued that the crisis proved the overdue end of the (neo) liberal era, while others, conversely, voiced the idea of ​​freedom loudly in order to oppose the reduction in their everyday options for action resulting from “physical distancing”. Although many countries in Central Europe succeeded in achieving a balance between personal freedom and social responsibility - in practice - the same was - theoretically - disputed by dissidents, either by denying (in the authoritarian version) that such a balance at all possible or (in the libertarian version) that it is necessary.

Such disputes show how fragile the background consensus of open societies is. The fact that those forces that flirt with political extremes are even weaker in this country than elsewhere is little consolation. Because an “open society” can only be preserved in the long run where its sometimes unpleasant decisions are largely voluntarily accepted, i.e. not under suspicion of undermining the liberal principle of social order or simply appearing as lazy compromises.

To taboo the authoritarian and libertarian extremes on the part of the "establishment" is not enough. Rather, the path to a dynamically and situationally adapting balance between individual freedom and social responsibility requires an independent argumentative upgrading. Because only if liberal politics knows how to be popular, it need not fear populism. However, it can only be popular if it does not simply portray restrictions on individual freedom of movement as a “necessary evil” or as a “practical constraint” without alternative, but is able to identify ties that are inherent in the idea of ​​freedom itself.

Without a theoretical synthesis between freedom and responsibility, their practical connection threatens to run into difficulties. And vice versa: If a theory of freedom can define clear criteria for the legitimate use of freedom, this can both facilitate its implementation in everyday life and strengthen its public acceptance. The possible impression, confirmed again and again in the media, that there are clearly better and worse ways of managing pandemics, is confirmed by the fact that theories of freedom of various types and origins on different strategies in coping with Advising emergencies, arguing that some of the crisis-induced restrictions undermine the freedoms of open societies while others protect and sustain them.

The Corona crisis has brought very different freedoms into competition with one another in front of all of us (e.g. the economic freedom of medium-sized entrepreneurs or the freedom of movement and association of broader population groups in relation to the freedom to health and to the survival of particularly endangered citizens, doctors and nursing staff) . This shows that the general commitment to freedom as a principle of open societies is by no means sufficient to make concrete decisions where the freedoms of one conflict with the freedoms of others. In order to provide guidance in such cases, it should first be clarified Which Freedoms and whose Freedoms are strengthened or weakened depending on the model used - and according to which normative aspects this should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Because in epidemics and emergencies, as is well known, the burden of the crisis rarely affects everyone, for example rich and poor, educated and uneducated, equally. [3] That was and is no different in the current pandemic.

This finding is a problem for both practice and theory. Namely, where the state's crisis management reinforces existing inequalities, the displeasure of the population quickly spreads beyond a situational criticism of the government and in general to the values ​​and norms it claims. From a crisis in open societies quickly become a crisis the open society itself, which feeds on the impression that the freedom so much touted by “the elites” ultimately only serves their interests in safeguarding property, but not “the little man”.

What would have to be done philosophically to deal with this problem? First of all, the theory of practice should not throw a club between the legs by creating an inevitable antagonism between either freedom or Suggests responsibility. Rather, it has to be shown that there is a third way that combines both goals. Then what we humans owe each other should be worked out in a discourse in which state coercion is legitimized and civic responsibility is demanded in such a way that the freedoms of everyone are brought into harmony with the freedom and chances of everyone's life. Because where the freedom of all forms the normative yardstick for public decisions, these in turn are likely to meet with increased acceptance, at least insofar as they then, at least in good faith, cannot be rejected as illiberal.

If this is the task - to offer a theory that makes the necessary ties of individual freedom plausible in the interests of general freedom - then the long prevailing theories of freedom of "negative" versus "positive" versions prove to be of little help; [4] and that not only, but also because they were soon translated into the opposition of libertarian and neoliberal concepts of freedom on the one hand versus communitarian, conservative and social democratic ideas of freedom on the other, and thus ideologically and party-politically exaggerated and unified: disputes between supporters of negative and positive freedom have so far ended at best in too much fragile compromises and, in the worst case, with an incessant tug-of-war between the proponents of the two constructs.

This unproductive result of the debates so far is not accidental, because the labels “negative” and “positive”, on closer inspection, fit more badly than right with the concerns championed by their publishers.

Negatives Freedom always wants something Positive - a personal space - protect. The definition of freedom as the "absence of physically coercive interference or invasion of an individual’s person and property" [5], which may be considered typical for representatives of negative theories of freedom, [6] immediately indicates: The negatorial element only occurs secondary against attacks on you primary to be thought - and thus initially to be defined positively - circle of freedom. Anyone who says, "you are‘ free ’when you can constrain other people to refrain from constraining you", [7] defines negative freedom in terms of their positive protection - although perhaps unknowingly.

Negative freedom doesn't fall from the tree; it often depends on positive freedoms. Even for the creation of an individual life plan, the implementation of which can then fall under the protection of “negative” freedom, preconditions are required (such as a consistent formation of will, discipline in execution, etc.). [8] Their existence also depends on “positive” freedoms (such as access to education). In a broader sense, it also implies the disposal of certain basic goods (food, health, etc.); and only positive freedom grants crisis-proof, reliable access to the latter. [9]

Even more: Freedom must be able to relate to objects in the world. [10] In order to (negatively) protect them in relation to this, appropriate institutions, e.g. property protection, must be created. For their part, however, these legal institutions must be legitimized in such a way that those disadvantaged by such regulations also accept their validity, for example by linking them to acts of participation justice, which are now traditionally legitimized by theories of positive freedom. [11] In short: without positive freedom there is no redistributive justice; without this no sustainable protection of individual possessions and self-design; therefore without positive there is no negative freedom.

Many freedom philosophers therefore no longer ask today if one should add some elements of positive freedom to the concept of negative freedom, but only Which. One likes to follow Gerald MacCallum, who showed decades ago that freedom is never abstract, but always only socially mediated, in both a positive and a negative (as well as relational) way. In MacCallum's understanding, freedom is always freedom "of something (an agent or agents), from something, to (do, not do, become or not become) something, it is a triadic relation. ”[12] From this it follows: A theory of freedom based only on negative aspects cannot be carried out consistently.

Theories of positive freedom are not much better off. These go beyond the conceptual framework of negative freedom in so many ways that it often remains unclear what is central to them. Positive doctrines of freedom usually offer several of the following supplements to negative freedom: the binding of the will to rationality, its orientation towards moral laws and moral values, the collective orientation towards certain cultural contexts and traditions, the maintenance of participatory republican models of government, that Granting the educational prerequisites for autonomous will-formation as well as counterfactual establishment of the economic conditions of private autonomy for everyone and much more. However, those who reject some of these aspects do not have to reject all of them; and vice versa, whoever stands up for some of these dimensions does not have to fight for all of them. To put it bluntly: the concept of negative freedom is clear but sterile; the idea of ​​positive freedom is fruitful but unclear. Both are unsatisfactory.

Instead of the unsuitable scheme of negative versus positive freedom, an understandable dialectic between the different dimensions of the idea of ​​freedom is required, which orders, weighs and plausibly integrates the conflicting aspects of the same. Above all, it must be possible to meet both the interest in expanding the individual scope of options (typically advocated by friends of negative freedom) and the desire for a responsible (e.g. socially and ecologically sustainable) design of personal life opportunities and for everyone to be empowered to live up to a life in dignified autonomy (typically the concerns of partisans of positive freedom).

A theoretical lens for this task is the distinction between one quantitative, focused on the bulk of our options for action and one qualitative, an understanding of freedom based on the class of our chances in life. [13] Through this distinction (not two supposedly independent concepts of freedom, but within the one According to my thesis, global debates about the effects of both the corona pandemic and other crises on personal freedom can be redrafted.

The reason for this approach, briefly presented, is as follows: At the center of the concept of freedom, which has always been controversial, is a tension that must be resolved again and again, which can only be resolved by integrating two isolated tendencies that do not lead to the goal. This tension runs between on the one hand a quantitative consideration of freedoms, which analyzes political and economic models to what extent they maximize individual options and minimize social constraints, and on the other hand a qualitative obligation to favor certain types of freedoms (e.g. sustainable, responsible forms) over others.

In the light of this terminological reformatting, it quickly becomes clear that the quantitative perspective (with regard to the options that individuals must always remain, even in times of crisis) cannot be viewed as the only decisive factor, but with qualitative considerations (with regard to the type and quality of those options ) must be conveyed. Because pure quantity cannot be thought; it is always the quantity of something which in turn is qualitatively determined. To this extent, logically, the qualitative moment comes first. However, quality, for its part, cannot be fully understood without showing where a certain something ends by distinguishing itself from another: the quantity therefore belongs to the essence of the qualitative. The result: quality Weighing up comes before quantitative Weighing - but not without it.

If these categorical determinations are transferred to the concept of freedom, this allows a nuanced (re) formulation of the relationship between individual freedom and social responsibility. Insofar as both aspects are brought to bear under the aegis of the qualitative, the otherwise abstract contrast between either a minus in freedom or dissolve a minus in responsibility.We should therefore consider the relationship between public health and freedom (as in the times of the corona pandemic), between collective security and freedom (as in the case of terrorism) and between national culture and cosmopolitan freedom (with regard to migration, for example) and finally ecological Do not think about sustainability and economic freedom (in debates about global warming) in purely quantitative terms and pretend that all these goals and values ​​are only to have a minus in freedom or, conversely, only by taking them back. Rather, our question must be how the idea of ​​freedom can be qualified internally so that certain forms of freedom are prioritized or created first that are in harmony with the stated goals.

In order not to gamble away its autonomous core through heteronomous determinations when attempting this internal further determination of freedom, these concretizations must be made out of and through freedom itself. That is also, but not only meant procedurally: Participatory procedures should give concrete contours to the idea of ​​freedom. But that is not enough. For their part, they need a normative vanishing point, if only for their constitutional coordination and practical coherence. And if the fundamental idea of ​​freedom is not to be gambled away immediately, that can only result from the individual's right to freedom. In other words: Freedom should be the reason, limit and measure of your own limitation. How can this be done?

According to the classical liberal reading, freedom does not come to individuals on the basis of their belonging to a class, gender, religion or ethnicity, etc., but rather simply as People. But if the claim to freedom is justified in the same way, then this must be for all People apply; for those who are far away from us in terms of space, time or civilization, as well as for those with whom we are already close. To put it more succinctly: people can have freedom individually then legitimately claim for themselves insofar as they are the same universal apply. From this immanent qualification of personal freedom through universal freedom follows theirs (temporally) intergenerational, as well as (spatially) theirs cosmopolitan Responsibility. This - qualitative - obligation must be enforced before one sets out - quantitatively - to expand the options in question.

The result of the considerations so far: The creation, strengthening and protection of life chances for everyone, viewed from this point of view, now appears by no means as a bad obstacle, but as a target-oriented section on the way to a consistent realization of the idea of ​​freedom. In a nutshell: freedom obliges; Freed from responsibility. The qualitative version of the concept of freedom requires individual freedoms to be designed in such a way that the freedoms of all those involved - procedurally and in terms of content - are respected. Those who are passively affected by decisions have the right and should be given the means to actively deal with those decisions; If only in order not to reject the necessary regulations as external barriers, but to be able to recognize them as internal regulations.

In this way, in pluralistic societies, the unity of the idea of ​​freedom could be preserved in view of the diversity of its forms of application, which vary from place to place and from time to time. This not only makes sense from a normative point of view - following the principle of subsidiarity - but also provides efficient solutions. It empowers and encourages social problems to be tackled with decentralized, experimental strategies in which the state does not act as the sole problem solver, but increasingly relies on civil society and the economy. [14] Ultimately, it is becoming increasingly clear that and how locally embedded and context-bound knowledge can improve societal decision-making. [15] Such co-creative approaches to governance are, however, extremely seldom found in traditional, and above all: in "negative" theories of freedom. [16] And that has to change if freedom is not just an ideal For Citizens of open societies, but also of be with them - and stay.

The power of the qualitative theory presented hereincludedQuantitative freedom cannot be demonstrated in all details in the context of this short text, but it can be demonstrated with regard to the corona pandemic. With the theory of qualitative freedom, the following points in particular come on the agenda of a constructive public discussion about corona policy.

  • digitalization: The German Corona app shows how effective health protection and digital self-determination reinforce each other instead of excluding each other. Instead of unsafe quick decisions that deter users, the discussion has produced a safe and therefore widely accepted variant. Similar discussions about the compatibility of digital work and education with sociality and offline encounters are ahead of us. We should always ask: Which freedoms are expanded or reduced in each case? What are the social and ecological effects of the increased digitization caused by the crisis and whose freedoms are thereby promoted or hindered?
  • Utility versus autonomy: The triage debate sparked by the pandemic has intensified the discussion about who has the right to end human life and why. It is clear that the freedom of some to survive and the freedom of others to live well can come into conflict with one another when medical care is scarce. The urgent need for clear guidelines, coupled with the strong public interest in clarifying these issues, forces us to decide, for example, when societal benefits must take second place to the dignity and autonomy of the individual. This question cannot be solved without recourse to a concept of freedom that qualitatively takes into account the rights and responsibilities of all those involved and not only, purely quantitatively, maximizes the interests of certain groups.
  • Causality and counterfactual: Opponents of the economic shutdown claimed that the measures taken did more harm than good as a result of the ensuing recession. Is that correct? How can one weigh the benefits and harms of the path taken with the path not taken? With such considerations, decisions must always be made under uncertainty about causality paths, the course of which is mostly estimated by thought experiments full of counterfactual hypotheses and statistics based on them. Who has the right or in whose freedom it is to make such evaluations ultimately? In an open society, this must not be carried out technocratically, but must be carried out democratically - and the normative principle for this is the autonomy of all.
  • De-growth, de-globalization, slowdown: Some commentators on the crisis are calling for more global governance and interpreting the corona pandemic as a further indicator of the growing need for increased coordination and collaboration on a global level. Others tend in the opposite direction and note that the corona crisis has had a positive effect on the fact that it opened our eyes to alternative forms of life. After all, hackneyed arguments - for example about an "alternative" policy in the face of "economic laws" that are forcing us towards ever more rapid globalization - have recently lost much of their conviction, as suddenly politics once again emphasized its primacy over the economy and demonstrated its ability to to abruptly and drastically change our way of life. As a result, the debate about whether we should slow down our social processes (for the sake of freedom to a more contemplative or sociable lifestyle), switch to less growth (to give the environment a respite and support autochthonous forms of production) or even de -Globalize (to reaffirm local cultures as well as economic self-sufficiency, especially in relation to medical care or strategic goods). The evaluation of these alternatives must take into account whether and how they each affect the freedoms of all; and not just those privileged enough to take advantage of such changes (at no great expense or sacrifice on their part).

All of the problem areas mentioned call for a deeper analysis of the freedoms that defenders of the status quo as well as the announced changes to the same. For decision-making, the legitimation of the relevant (quantitative) restrictions on civil liberties should follow from the concept of freedom itself, in that the (qualitative) contours of individual freedom are drawn in the light of the idea of ​​universal freedom. After all, it is not just about the assurance of existing freedoms for a few, but about the freedom and autonomy of all people, including future generations. [17]

The decisive strategic and communicative advantage of this realignment of the understanding of freedom lies in the defense against the view that moral, social and ecological sustainability, civic responsibility, security and health can all only be acquired at the price of freedom. For, where that opinion prevails, the prospects for open societies are indeed bleak. In that flawed framework of thought cultivated by libertarians and authoritarians, civil liberty inevitably seems to be in conflict with everything else that is dear to people.

However, this cannot be countered by a counter-offensive, which the idea of ​​freedom now does ad hoc charges with any desirable contents; which, by the way, would be rejected by libertarians as illegitimate - and by authoritarians as redundant, because, according to their argument, such a thing can be achieved much more quickly through dictation. - No, we have to show that freedom is fundamentally misunderstood as long as we do not turn those affected by its regulation into participants in its shaping - by using the rights of all global citizens to freedom for their local, national and regional differentiation. Namely, where the use of freedom is cosmopolitan in the light of its global effects and is responsible for, the resulting ties and restrictions on individual freedom of movement can neither be viewed as illegitimate nor - especially with regard to the global dimension of combating pandemics - ridiculed as inadequate to the problem.

Libertarians and authoritarians alike are put in their place by a theory of freedom geared towards their global responsibility, which first qualitatively outlines local freedom with a view to the rights of all global citizens, before it empowers and encourages us, its local radius varies depending on the context to optimize quantitatively.

Is that also “good Catholic”?

So far I have built up the concept of a primarily qualitatively oriented freedom with purely secular arguments; And that is also appropriate in view of the role that such a theory should play in an open society, in order to give it the chance of recognition across all ideological boundaries. At the same time, however, the reference should not be omitted at this point that this position also agrees with large parts of Catholic social teaching.

As early as the Middle Ages, Christian philosophy routinely distinguished between one that was indifferent to its content orientation libertas indifferentiae and one based on their moral excellence libertas excellentiae. [18] This opened up a field of tension that preoccupies the Church's socio-ethical thinking to this day. It is necessary to find a way to clearly contradict the reduction of the essence of freedom to mere arbitrariness; on the one hand. On the other hand, however, the question arises as to whether the value of freedom can really be equated with the sum of all morally valuable exercises of freedom.

In this regard, until the late 19th century, some encyclicals had stipulated that only freedom that conformed to the church's teaching office was to be valued. Only in the 20th century were the markings drawn differently here. In addition to the moral theological praise for a morally superior and religiously oriented use of freedom, there was now a legal theological appreciation of individual autonomy per se; in other words, one who tolerates it when, in certain areas, personal use of the freedom granted by the state leaves much to be desired morally and religiously. Nowadays, this tolerance is no longer seen as a lax, pragmatic refusal to adhere to a rigidity that is actually required, but rather as an indispensable basis for people to appreciate each other of one's free will should be able to determine a life in morality and out of faith. The possibility of morally and religiously wrong choices is approved because of the higher value that is attached to a lifestyle based on freedom and responsibility.

Even more: The qualitative obligation of individual freedom to contribute to enabling all citizens of the world to live an autonomous life and to grant them the formal and material requirements for this are in strong agreement with Christian doctrines, which also declare those who are most distant to be our neighbors because they to recognize children of God in all people who can claim fraternal care. Thoughts that have set clear accents in Latin American theology [19] especially since the middle of the 20th century: in favor of a qualitative orientation of freedom to the liberation and emancipation of others, in favor of the participation of those affected in government action and, last but not least, in favor of " preferential option ”for the poor, whose neediness otherwise blocks the way to a dignified self-determination. The approach presented here is fully in line with all of these points.

I have argued that the corona crisis cannot be adequately understood and mastered without dealing with the long-smoldering crisis of the ideal of freedom in open societies. The significance of the pandemic, which goes beyond the present moment - and what can be learned from it for overcoming future crises, for example - cannot be grasped without dealing with the conceptual roots of the ideal of freedom.

Here, however, the traditional template of a distinction between “negative” and “positive” freedom proves to be of little help because it is linguistically impure and factually misleading, in that it gives the misleading impression that negative freedom can exist without positive freedom. The priorities in the previous freedom discussion (numerical maximization and content optimization) can be better captured with the categories of quantity and quality. It turns out, however, that a theory based only on the mass and not also on the class of our options is impracticable. Instead, we have to begin by weighing up the quality of free life chances that we want to secure for one another with each other, in order to then determine - democratically, not technocratically - how we quantitatively delimit, expand and sustainably shape the space of these desired opportunities.

In this way it can be shown that certain restrictions on individual freedom of movement and a number of social ties of personal autonomy do not represent a negation of freedom if and when they take place in the light of the right of all world citizens to a life in freedom. The questions that the Corona crisis raises with regard to our attitude towards globalization, technology, the right to a dignified life and death and, last but not least, the right to democratic participation in social decisions all revolve around the double challenge, on the one hand To hold onto the freedom of the individual without, on the other hand, denying others the chance of an autonomous life. Where politics concretely concretizes the freedom of the citizens with cosmopolitan responsibility, the difficult balance can be achieved, maintaining the pluralism of open societies and at the same time enabling sufficient internal cohesion and external cooperation to face the current pandemic as well as future crises with responsible freedom.


[1] See Karl Raimund Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Princeton / New Jersey 2013 (first edition: 1945).

[2] See Ivan Krăstev, Stephen Holmes, The Light That Failed: Why the West Is Losing the Fight for Democracy, New York 2019.

[3] See Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger, London / New York 2017.

[4] For the status of the discussion see Ian Carter, Matthew H. Kramer, Hillel Steiner, Freedom: A Philosophical Anthology, Malden, Massachusetts 2007, pp. 4-5.

[5] Murray Newton Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty, Atlantic Highlands / New Jersey 1982, p. 215.

[6] See Jan Narveson, The Libertarian Idea, Philadelphia 1988; John Hospers, Paul Avrich Collection (Library of Congress), Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow, Los Angeles 1971.

[7] Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law, Princeton, New Jersey 1961, p. 56.

[8] See Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom, Oxford 1986, p. 408.

[9] Cf. Stanley Isaac Benn, A Theory of Freedom, Cambridge / New York 1988; Raz, Morality, op. Cit., P. 407.

[10] Cf. Philippe van Parijs, Real Freedom for All: What (If Anything) Can Justify Capitalism ?, Oxford / New York 1995, p. 22.

[11] Cf. Gerald Allan Cohen, Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality, Cambridge / Paris / New York 1995.

[12] Gerald C. MacCallum, Jr., Negative and Positive Freedom, in: The Philosophical Review, 76, no. 3 (1967): pp. 312-334, p. 314 (Herv. I. Orig.).

[13] In detail: Claus Dierksmeier: Qualitative Freedom - Self-determination in Cosmopolitan Responsibility, Bielefeld 2016.

[14] Cf. Neera Chandhoke, Putting Civil Society in Its Place, in: Economic and Political Weekly, 44/2009: pp. 12-16.

[15] See Amartya Sen, Rationality and Freedom, Boston MA 2002.

[16] Cf. Comor, E., The Role of Communication in Global Civil Society: Forces, Processes, Prospects, in: International Studies Quarterly, 45/2001: pp. 389-408.

[17] Similar arguments in: Thomas Pogge, Freedom From Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor ?, New York (UNESCO) 2007; Philip Pettit, Just Freedom. A Moral Compass for a Complex World, New York 2014.

[18] For more details: Leo XIII., Human Liberty, Encyclical Letter, New York 1941 and Servais Pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics, Washington, D.C. 1995.

[19] This is especially true for the liberation theological writings of Gustavo Gutierrez (Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation, Maryknoll / New York 1973) and Ignacio Ellacuría (Ignacio Lee Michael Edward Ellacuría, Ignacio Ellacuría: Essays on History, Liberation and Salvation, 2013).

The author

Claus Dierksmeier is Professor of Globalization Ethics at the University of Tübingen. His work focuses on questions of political, religious and economic philosophy with special consideration of theories of freedom and responsibility in the age of globality.