New book: ‘Positive Freedom and the Law’ by Kim Treiger-Bar-Am
Freedom is not only a right to be left alone. The book explores how Kantian philosophy and Jewish thought instead give rise to a concept of positive freedom, whereby freedom is inextricably linked to theobligation to respect the autonomy and dignity of others. While individualism fosters detachments, positive freedom fosters relations.
In law, duties are intrinsic to rights. Test cases examine the law of expression, regarding authorial rights and women’s prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. All authors – including so-called users – are to be shown respect. Moreover, all worshippers – including those whose interpretation of Jewish law differs from that adopted by the authorities – are to be respected.
‘In her intriguing inquiry, Kim Treiger-Bar-Am brings to light the commonalities between two prominent Western traditions: Kantian ethics and the Jewish heritage. Under her reading, both traditions share the conviction that obligation and freedom are interrelated and interdependent. Her original insights contribute greatly to intellectual history as well as to moral and legal theory as such.’ – Alon Harel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
‘In this intriguing work Kim Treiger-Bar-Am develops a theory of expressive rights and duties based on a reading of Kantian theory alongside the tradition of Jewish thought. In the second part of the book the necessary relation of right and duty, and of obligation and freedom, in the exercise of expressive freedom that arises from this reading is investigated in the context of a copyright model that would require respect for all authors and their expressive acts.This beautifully written and convincingly argued book contributes an invaluable and innovative strand to the important body of work by copyright theorists that understands copyright as a speech right impacting on our politics, culture and communal life.’ – Fiona Macmillan, Birkbeck, University of London, University of Roma Tre, and University of Technology Sydney
‘In this fascinating exploration of the Jewish tradition and Kantian philosophy, Treiger Bar- On shines a light on the close connection between freedom and obligation in both structures of thought. The book includes a sophisticated meditation on freedom of thought, interpretation, and expression that comes alive through application to contemporary legal dilemmas.‘ – Suzanne Last Stone, Yeshiva University, Cardozo Law School
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Hb: 978-0-367-13786-1 | £92.00
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