Swinbank, Adam David (2019) Freedom as the pursuit of self-realisation: T. H. Green and the contemporary debate on the nature of freedom. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.


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This dissertation explores Green’s theory of freedom, it discusses where it sits in the contemporary
debate on the nature of freedom, and what it contributes to it. I argue that Green presents us with a
nuanced notion of freedom, informed by his robust concept of the will and the good. The
dissertation discusses Green’s critique of hedonistic naturalism and his appropriation of the Kantian
notion of the will, as a vehicle to articulate a notion of the personal good and self-realisation that is
distinct from the utilitarian notion of happiness. It critically assesses these ideas and explains why
they are important to understand Green’s theory of freedom. Against a backdrop of dichotomies and
warring camps, Green provides a refreshing example of a thinker who refuses to side with one
fraction or the other. This dissertation therefore presents Green as a philosopher who cannot be
easily pigeonholed. It defends him against the accusation that his theory of freedom could provide
the ideological underpinnings for totalitarianism by arguing that this charge is the result of the rigid
and unhelpful dichotomy between negative and positive freedom, that has unfortunately provided
the backdrop for most discussions on the nature of freedom in the contemporary debate. Green’s
theory of freedom is applied to contemporary issues such as the struggles of the Trans community
and the spread of misinformation to demonstrate its enduring relevance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Contributors: D'Oro, G (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 14:31
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 13:31
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6804

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