عنوان مقاله [English]
Joel Feinberg (1926-2004) is a groundbreaking philosopher in contemporary moral, legal, and political philosophy. He changed the way people thought about things, and his theory of “the moral limits of the criminal law” is the most influential theory in American jurisprudence of the last fifty years. He fulfilled the project that J.S. Mill (1806-1873) had started by introducing “liberty-principle.” Following Mill, Feinberg believed that political philosophy begins with a normative presumption in favor of “individual liberty.” So, he found most “liberty-limiting” or “coercion-legitimizing” principles “unreasonable” and “impermissible.” Feinberg analyzes with great subtlety concepts like “harm,” “offense,” and “paternalism,” and defends Liberalism. Contrary to “communitarians” and “contextualists” such as MacIntyre and Sandel, who criticize Liberalism for its abstractness and sterility, Feinberg’s Liberalism is a living theory built on the common values of a certain type of society and political culture, within a definite historical context. Having introduced Feinberg’s thought and his unique influence, this paper will endeavor to:
1. Analyze the similarities and differences of these two philosophers’ views on “liberty;”
2. Analyze “the liberty-limiting” or “coercion-legitimizing” principles in their views; and
3. Compare their answers to the following basic and practical questions about “liberty:”
1. What is the greatest threat to the “liberty?”
2. Why should liberty be the norm?
3. Is “liberty” the first good?
4. Who is “right,” in the confrontation of two agents’ “liberties?”
5. How can we solve the problem of “bilinear nature of liberty?”
6. Is “liberty” “absolute?”