Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on negative liberty and positive liberty. In a political landscape, it entails upholding citizens’ rights and freedoms. Various philosophers over time in history right from Aristotle have come up with various theses to best explain the matter however one of the most important names that have left a landmark in this particular field of understanding the concepts of liberty is one Isaiah Berlin. In the year 1958 to be precise Berlin’s vast knowledge and wisdom as a liberal philosopher and a lecturer in University of Oxford took center stage and saw him impact a change in the approach of understanding the two concepts of liberty from a broader perspective. This led to the publication of ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’, which subsequently got compiled in Berlin’s collection ‘four essays on liberty’. In the compilation, the philosopher distinguished positive liberty and negative liberty.
Positive liberty may be put or understood as acting in a way to show the importance of self-mastery, a platform that entails one seizing and realizing one’s control in one’s life and achieving the ultimate fundamental purpose. It is infused with the mere role of one’s choosing of whom takes head or control of the society that one is part of. According to Berlin in his essay, Berlin on Liberty (pp. 131) the “positive” prefix on the term liberty connotes to the fact that individuals wish to be their own masters and not be slaves of external forces. He went on further to state that one should feel free to the degree that he or she believes that to be true and enslaved to the utmost degree that one is made to realize that it is not (Berlin 131). Positive liberty is seen to empower a rational individual to decide for himself as opposed to being influenced in his decision making by external extremities. one is supposed to identify himself as a human being of his own free will with a proper self-identity that separates him from the rest of the world and makes .him special.