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In one of his best known essays, Isaiah Berlin distinguished between two concepts of liberty: the “negative” concept, according to which liberty consists in being left to one’s own devices, and the “positive” one, in which it is construed as a kind of self-realisation. It is the former, Berlin thought, that is “the truer and more humane ideal.”

What follows if we assume, with Berlin, that to be free is just to be left alone? Philip Pettit invites us to consider the case of Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s…

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