1. Mill’s account of the right to free speech: Its contemporary significance.

    Filimon Peonidis <>

2. Nature, mind and rights: An Edwardian construct

    Gal Gerson <>

The paper analyzes the affiliated concepts of nature, mind, society and rights held by late-Victorian and Edwardian new liberals. The theory of society and rights developed by Edwardian intellectuals like L.T. Hobhouse, J.A. Hobson and Graham Wallas may be seen as an elaboration of J.S. Mill's ideas of both nature and liberty, modified by the fin de siecle's concepts of evolution, survival and the irrational. This progressive liberal view of nature and personality may be seen as a theoretical support for the idea of welfare rights. Though it was a particularly 'period' cluster of notions and many of its components seem archaic today, its residues may still be observed in widespread psychological concepts such as individual development, attachment and parental deprivation.

3. Women's Rights/ Women's Duties: Liberal Feminist Configurations of Women's Rights and Civic Virtue in Britain, ca l790 - l9l4

    Joyce Senders Pedersen (Odense University, Denmark)

British liberal feminists were wont to align their call for women's rights with an insistence on women's duties. These they in turn saw as closely associated with civic virtue. Taking Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women as its point of departure, this paper will consider some of the assumptions that underwrote selected liberal feminists' understanding of women's rights, women's duties, and civic virtue in the period ca. l790 -l9l4.

4. "The Western Concept of Liberty"

    Takamaro Hanzawa (Wayo Women's University, Ichikawa, Japan)

Liberty is one of the most universally acknowledged values in world today.  Every language in the world has its own corresponding word for the English word ‘liberty’.  The Japanese word for 'liberty' is ‘Jiyu’.  But, once we compare the set of ideas of ‘Jiyu’ with that of ‘liberty,’ we easily recognize that the two sets of ideas do not entirely overlap each other.  With this reflection in mind, the paper tries to restate the characteristics of the Western concept of liberty.  It says that the core meaning of the term liberty in the West, from the days of Ancient Greek ‘eleutheria’ up until at least the end of the eighteenth century, has been one’s condition as well as ability to do something good without being subjected to the will of others.  It then asks whether or not this essentially teleological concept of liberty has changed to a more neutral one when, for example, B. Constant distinguished modern liberty from the ancient one, or when Sir Isaiah Berlin proposed his concept of negative liberty.

5. "Bosanquet's Idea of Freedom."

    Stamatoula Panagakou (University of York, U.K.)

The British Idealist philosopher Bernard Bosanquet (1848-1923) elaborates a theory of freedom which is structured around the metaphysical foundations of his theorising. For him, freedom is an intrinsic quality of the nature of the human being that, in its real or completed form, is associated with the effort of the finite human individual to transcend the inherent limitations of his/her constitution and to attain a state of ontological completion or perfection. Freedom is not one's ability to get what one wants but the ability to assert the essence of individuality in a complex relational framework that spiritually defines the meaning of the self in its teleological association to otherness. The paper endeavours to reconstruct Bosanquet's theory of freedom and to examine its  strengths and limitations as an explanatory framework related to the metaphysics of the self.

6. Kant’s “Cosmopolitan Right”:  Global Justice, Foreigners, and Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Enlightenment

Sankar Muthu (New School for Social Research, New York)

Kant’s cosmopolitanism continues to be discussed in light of his theory of international justice and thus is viewed as a label that simply describes his call for an international federation of states in order to work toward conditions of perpetual peace.  Indeed, in his early political essays, Kant himself uses the term cosmopolitanism in this manner.  In his later writings, however, including Toward Perpetual Peace and The Metaphysics of Morals, Kant began to develop a more precise and theoretically distinctive understanding of cosmopolitan justice.  Kant began to articulate a conception of “cosmopolitan right” [Weltbürgerrecht, or ius cosmopoliticum] that was conceptually distinct from his two other concepts of “right”: civil (or domestic) right, which secured both the rule of law and republicanism at the level of a single state, and international right, which provided normative criteria for inter-state relations.  In this essay, I explain how the understudied and still widely misunderstood concept of cosmopolitan right in Kant’s political philosophy refers to the conditions of justice that should obtain between states and foreigners and between subjects of different lands.  In light of this understanding of cosmopolitan right, Kant criticized European imperialism and defended non-European peoples against what he viewed as the arbitrary and destructive powers that were being exercised by trading companies (such as the British East India Company), explorers, and other (usually European) travellers who visited (and often ultimately conquered) foreign lands.  The moral and political issues surrounding refugees and displaced peoples are the contemporary examples that come closest to Kant’s concern to justify “a right to visit” foreign lands as long as conditions of cosmopolitan right are respected as well as the right to expect “hospitable” treatment as strangers and visitors to foreign lands.  This is an aspect of the history of rights and liberalism that is often overlooked, yet it plays a crucial role in Kant’s political thought.  For Kant, rights should not be theorized only at the level of a state or at the level of inter-state relations; for true justice to emerge, rights must also be formulated to protect foreigners in their interactions with states or quasi-sovereign powers and to protect those who cross borders.

7. The limitations of the New Liberal Ideology as a response to future challenges related to moral anomie, demographic reproduction and an ecologically responsible economy

Sigurd Skirbekk (University of Oslo, Norway)

8. "Idealist Social Policy and Liberalism"

William Sweet (St Francis Xavier University, Canada)