“Perspectives on Social Freedom – Core Issues in Political Philosophy” (2013) – OZSW graduate course

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy invites Research Master and PhD students to the graduate course: “Perspectives on Social Freedom – Core Issues in Political Philosophy” organized by Dr. Frank Hindriks.

Monday – 21 and 28 October, 4, 11 and 18 November 2013
(morning sessions from 10.00 – 13.00 hrs; afternoon sessions from 14.00 – 17.00 hrs)

The “Van Ravensteijnzaal (1.02)” at the University of Utrecht, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80.
Except on 11 November 2013, then room 0.13 at Drift 23 in Utrecht will be used.

Deadline: 10 October 2013

Coordinator of the course is Dr. Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen).

About the topic

Freedom is one of the most cherished values of our times, if not the most. There are, however, a number of different concepts of freedom. Isaiah Berlin famously distinguished between negative freedom and positive freedom – roughly speaking freedom as non-interference and autonomy. Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner defend republican freedom as a third concept. In this course, all these kinds of freedom are discussed as well as their interrelations, their applications, and their significance in political contexts. Topics that play a particular central role in the course include freedom and its value; the societal pathologies of freedom; collective freedom, group rights, and self-determination; the relation between liberal and republican freedom; and the role that conceptions of the good life play in justice as fairness on the one hand and the capability approach on the other.

Course objectives

  • knowledge of contemporary theories of freedom and its value
  • skill to use basic concepts in different contexts including multiculturalism and public policy


  • Martin van Hees (UvA)
  • Joel Anderson (UU)
  • Frank Hindriks (RUG)
  • Boudewijn de Bruin (RUG)
  • Constanze Binder (EUR)

Work load

The participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to actively participate in the discussions and to write a paper of about 5000 words at the end of the course about a topic of choice, supervised by one of the teacher who has lectured about that topic.


  • Week 1: Freedom – what it is, and why it matters
    Martin van Hees (University of Amsterdam)
  • Week 2: Freedom, Interdependence, and Societal Pathologies
    Joel Anderson (University of Utrecht)
  • Week 3: Liberal and Republican Freedom
    Boudewijn de Bruin (University of Groningen)
  • Week 4: Collective Freedom: Identity, Discrimination, and Self-determination
    Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)
  • Week 5: Freedom, Justice, and the Good Life
    Constanze Binder (Erasmus University Rotterdam)


The course is free for:

  • 2nd year research master students in philosophy at a Dutch university,
  • PhD students who are a member of the OZSW

All other students pay a fee of 250 euro. See the OZSW website for our cancellation policy.

How to apply

Please fill out the form at aanmelder.nl  before 10 October 2013 and add:

  • your contact details (email address, telephone number and postal address),
  • a brief motivation for taking part in the course (max. 100 words).
  • whether you are a 2nd year research master student or a PhD student
    • if the latter: a description of your PhD project (max. 500 words)

When the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, we will give priority to PhD students of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy.

Organization information

This course is coordinated by Dr. Frank Hindriks. For further information related to the contents of this course, please contact him at the following e-mail address: f.a.hindriks@rug.nl. For practical inquiries, please contact secretariaat@ozsw.nl.