The term “negative freedom” can cause quite a bit of confusion at first. When you first hear its name it sounds like something bad, something to be avoided. After all, the term negative means “marked by
denial, prohibition, or refusal” so I automatically assumed that it was the opposite of positive freedom which states that you have the freedom to control and direct
your own life. Now, after reading the introduction text I realized that this is not true.
Negative freedom in fact means that you are free from external interference that may prevent you from what you want to do. Even though I am now clear on what it means I am still unsure of why it’s called negative freedom. Surely there’s another set of terms that would better apply to both positive and negative freedom. Is there a reason that I’ve missed?
Despite this I think that it works well to have it called negative freedom because it’s, at the very least, very easy to remember.