Liberalism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 8 pages of information about Liberalism.
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Classical Liberalism

Liberals differ over determining the nature of freedom. Isaiah Berlin's distinction between negative and positive freedoms (freedom from as against freedom to) is useful in explaining the difference between classical and modern forms of liberalism.

In classical liberalism, freedom is interpreted in terms of a private sphere of non-interference that is supported by the rule of law. Free agents are protected from arbitrary interference, being left to enjoy their possessions, to retain personal beliefs, and to act in preferred ways on the condition that they respect the freedom of others to do the same. Support for private property and free markets goes hand in hand, in classical liberalism, with a prescription that power (economic as well as political) be divided so as to alleviate the risk of its being abused.

John Locke (1632–1704), whose Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690) started the tradition of liberal thought, encapsulated classical...

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This section contains 2,315 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Liberalism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Liberalism from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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