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Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry

Ramona – Negative and Positive Freedoms


Negative freedom is when you have the opportunities to go through with an act, only to be restricted by another force whereas positive freedom is when one possesses the power to fulfill their tasks. From birth people are encountered with situations involving both their negative and positive freedom. Through out childhood your freedom is restricted when your parents force a certain career onto you for example. They are locking a door to a potential possibility for your future. Since your negative freedom is based on who, what and why restricts your choices, it is affecting your freedom whether or not you choose the career or a different one. If your parents would be giving you your own choice in the matter and not pushing a certain career towards you, they would then be granting you positive freedom because you have all the opportunities in the world to pick and choose. Since you are truly free to take whichever path you wish. No force is there to stop you physically or mentally–making you genuinely free.




3 thoughts on “Ramona – Negative and Positive Freedoms

  1. Test comment

    Posted by Stephen Downes | September 6, 2013, 6:08 pm
  2. Hi Ramona!

    Do you think that, even in the case of the parents pushing the child into a certain career, positive freedom is at work? If so, how? Similarly, with the more open-ended parents, are there elements of negative freedom to contend with?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts – looking forward to more discussion!

    Mr. J

    Posted by bryanjack | September 9, 2013, 11:04 pm
    • Mr. J,

      I believed negative freedom was at work because they are restricting other choices and options you could make. But then I think there is also the positive at work yes, since they are giving you an opportunity (even if it is not your first choice) to open another door. It seems to work both ways, even if the child sees this as unfair.

      As for the open minded parents…negative freedom is ‘freedom from’ something. So if they give you the reigns on which career path you wish to take without interfering or without input, they don’t necessarily ‘keep’ you from anything. I am not entirely sure if negative freedom takes place in the situation with open minded parents, but I will read into it some more!

      Posted by ramonakomlosi | September 10, 2013, 1:54 am

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