Dewey's Argumentative Analysis

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first chapter of The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek (1960) calls Dewey’s attempt to reconcile liberty and equality as jugglery (p.16). Dewey proposes an early version of capability approach on the issue of liberty. In his article Force and Coercion, Dewey (1916) says “Whether the use of force is justified or not....is, in substance, a question of efficiency (including economy) of means in the accomplishing ends” (p.362). In another article Liberty and Social Control (1935), Dewey says “Liberty is not just an idea, and abstract principle. It is power, effective power to do specific things...If one wants to know what the condition of liberty is at a given time, one has to examine what persons can do and what they cannot do...it becomes evident…show more content…
He relates positive meaning of liberty to the concept of distributive justice. Therefore Hayek’s objection for this kind of liberty is related to substantive equality. Actually, the issue in Hayek is obvious; equality and liberty is in contrast. If government tries to promote substantive equality under the name of social justice, then liberty is lost at the expense of substantive equality. When I say ‘substantive justice’, I mean concrete measures taken by institutions and governmental organizations which include equality of opportunity, material subvention for lesser inequality and legal attempts to prevent discrimination. Hayek opposes all these attempts by some ontological and epistemological premises which are represented and criticized above. Here, I will assert that social justice is possible according to reconciliation of equality and liberty; which is possible with a good theory of capability approach. When I say equality, I don’t mean equality of income or only equality before the law, rather equality of…show more content…
If you asked some people “are you free to do ride a tractor?”, then some people would answer ‘yes’. It is because ‘to be free to ride a tractor’ and ‘to be able to ride a tractor’ are compatible. On the other hand, suppose that you are living in a village in which people are engaged in cattle breeding. If you asked some people “are you free to do ride a tractor”, and then some people wouldn’t answer this question. It is because it may be meaningless for them to ride a tractor if they are unable to do so. Now, suppose that the people who live in the second village decided to give up cattle breeding because of poor market conditions. Now, they have two options: either they will migrate to the city or they will engage in agriculture. If they migrate to the city, they won’t be able to overcome harsh market conditions, but they can start to deal with agriculture which they are familiar with. Unfortunately, they don’t have any financial power to get the necessary means for agriculture. They can reach means of production by using either private or state credit. Suppose they are living in a Hayekian world; the banking system will not give them money because of their poor financial conditions; and the state will not deal with their financial conditions because state cannot serve for particular conditions. Now, we call that situation as poverty. If you ask those people ‘are you free to ride a
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