Allyn Fives
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This chapter addresses the ways in which freedom is conceptualised by value pluralists and value monists. In putting cruelty first among the vices, Shklar claims to have identified the general rule for resolving moral conflicts. She also conceptualises freedom as liberty of action in accordance with this rule for the resolution of moral conflicts. Hence, for the mature Shklar, we are not free unless we are freed from oppressive practices, but also we ourselves simply are not free to be cruel to others. Montesquieu’s distinction between freedom and mere independence is central to Shklar’s mature thinking, for it explains why, for her, we are not free to do as we please. However, what we also see is that Shklar, in her early value pluralist work, fails to offer a corresponding value pluralist conception of freedom. By turning to Berlin, in particular, I believe we can make good this deficit. Also, this chapter examines the implications of adopting either a pluralist or a monist conception of freedom for our understanding of extremist violence. I argue that value pluralism can show why, simply in terms of what is prima facie wrong, policy responses to extremism that do not remove options are preferable to those that do: namely, they do not violate the freedom of extremists.

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