Professor Quentin Skinner receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oslo and appears on Radio 4
Professor Quentin Skinner can be seen above receiving an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Oslo on the occasion of the University's 200th anniversary. Professor Skinner also delivered an honorary lecture on the subject of 'A genealogy of liberty'. You can read the abstract below:
Among contemporary political theorists, the idea of freedom is generally defined in negative terms as absence of interference. My lecture begins by noting that, because the concept of interference is such a complex one, there has been much dispute even within the liberal tradition about the conditions under which it may be legitimate to claim that freedom has been infringed. I am chiefly concerned, however, with the many political writers who have wished to challenge the core liberal assumption that freedom is best understood as absence of interference. Some doubt whether freedom is best defined as an absence at all, and instead attempt to connect it with specific patterns of moral behaviour But other critics -- on whom my lecture will end by focusing -- agree that the presence of freedom is best understood as the absence of something, while arguing that freedom fundamentally consists in the absence not of acts of interference but rather of broader conditions of arbitrary domination and dependence. I conclude by noting some of the implications of this view of freedom for the proper conduct of democratic government.
More information about the award and the event can be found on the University's website.
Professor Skinner has also been appearing on BBC Radio 4, discussing Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan and why we obey the law in the shadow of the London riots on Analysis (listen here) and Isaiah Berlin and the idea of equality on Head to Head.