We speak of being 'free' to speak our minds, free to go to college, free to move about; we can be cancer-free, debt-free, worry-free, or free from doubt. The concept of freedom (and relatedly the notion of liberty) is ubiquitous but not everyone agrees what the term means, and the philosophical analysis of freedom that has grown over the last two decades has revealed it to be a complex notion whose meaning is dependent on the context. The Oxford Handbook of Freedom will crystallize this work and craft the first wide-ranging analysis of freedom in all its dimensions: legal, cultural, religious, economic, political, and psychological. This volume includes 28 new essays by well regarded philosophers, as well some historians and political theorists, in order to reflect the breadth of the topic.
This handbook covers both current scholarship as well as historical trends, with an overall eye to how current ideas on freedom developed. The volume is divided into six sections: conceptual frames (framing the overall debates about freedom), historical frames (freedom in key historical periods, from the ancients onward), institutional frames (freedom and the law), cultural frames (mutual expectations on our 'right' to be free), economic frames (freedom and the market), and lastly psychological frames (free will in philosophy and psychology).