Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 851
Liberty/PettitVsLiberalism/Pettit: Pettit criticizes the liberal fixation on a "negative freedom": this is all too one-sidedly aimed at maintaining the distance between the individual and the state. Here there are two shortcomings:
a) The necessary protective functions of the state for the free self-development of the individual and
b) to recognize and appreciate the benefits of the participation of individuals in political decisions. See also Liberalism/Pettit.
With liberalism, Pettit shares concerns about a dominant state that restricts individual choices and ultimately denies political participation. His model-theoretical and programmatic key goal derived from this is therefore: freedom without dominance, but certainly state support for the attainment of individual freedom.
Forms of freedom/Pettit: in addition to the traditional understanding of freedom "to" or "of" something, Pettit introduces a third form: a form of "non-domination": bringing: freedom from domination, compulsion and arbitrariness, from "domination" and "mastery", which however does not stand in the way of freedom for political participation. (1)
Problem: An arbitrary ruling position of persons or institutions restricts an individual's freedom of choice through open or covert power of disposal, through the impairment of freedom of will or through manipulation of individual behavior.
Non-domination/Pettit: Solution: to distance oneself from arbitrary rule- (2) The state is primarily understood as a political agency with the task of promoting the freedom of the individual and protecting it from foreign domination. See State/Pettit, Republicanism/Pettit.
Brocker I 853
Pettit polemicizes against those republican variants that consider "bourgeois-humanist" freedom of political participation as the most important characteristic of the political sphere. In his opinion, they underestimate the notorious tendency of the state to dominate, to which the individuals, as participants in public life, suddenly surrendered themselves. Pettit calls this republicanism, rather unusual and in the expression of contempt, "populist" or "communitarian". (3) PettitVsCommunitarianism. See Governance/Pettit, State/Pettit.



1. Philip Pettit, Republicanism. A Theory of Freedom and Government, Oxford 1997, S. 22
2. Ebenda S. 66
3. Ebenda S. 8


Emanuel Richter, „Philip Pettit, Republicanism“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Pett I
Ph. Pettit
Just Freedom: A Moral Compass for a Complex World New York 2014

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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