Work detail

Paradoxes of Liberal Liberty. Revision of the Classical Assumptions of Freedom.

Author: Bc. Ondřej Kolínský
Year: 2012 - summer
Leaders: prof. Ing. Lubomír Mlčoch CSc.
Work type: Bachelors
Language: English
Pages: 45
Awards and prizes: B.A. with distinction from the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences for an extraordinarily good bachelors diploma thesis.
Abstract: Current criticism of liberalism is usually based on ad hoc economic and social arguments. In
this bachelor thesis, on the contrary, we seek to verify to what extent the very core of the
classical liberal doctrine is consistent with the findings of modern economics. In the first part,
we examine the writings of the fathers of economic liberalism; Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart
Mill and Friedrich August von Hayek. On their grounds, we describe and specify the type of
liberty this paper is concerned with. Also, we show what beliefs these philosophers held
regarding the question of human rationality. In the second part, we provide some
philosophical background to the question of freedom and explain how it is interconnected with
rationality. Finally, in the third part, we draw some empirical findings from behavioral
economics, which aims at explaining the disparity between preferences and actual decisions of
people. By contrasting these discoveries with the original liberal ideas, we are able to identify
specific points, where the classical theorists incline to misleading beliefs. The aim of this paper
is to assess how grave the implications of these errors are and how they could be addressed
within the framework of liberalism. We also estimate their impact on the market interaction
and examine possible policy responses.
Downloadable: Bachelor Theses of Kolinsky


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