Although a number of historically significant political thinkers regard freedom as a primary political value, treatments of this topic vary. One set of differences hinges on the status of freedom: in some cases it is seen as being a good in itself, while in others it appears as a necessary condition for the realization of other values relating to human well-being. Discussions of the political implications of freedom are also affected by different understandings of its context. Thus while some thinkers regard freedom as a social attribute, others see it in individualistic terms. These differences are apparent in the theories dealt with in this chapter, but they all share the assumption that the nature, scope and purpose of political authority must be understood in relation to the priority to be accorded to particular conceptions of human freedom.
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- Politics and Freedom
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- Chapter 3