Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Francois FacchiniEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_50


Freedom is the power to do what I want to do. The laws of nature and/or human laws limit this power. The laws of nature imposess necessities. I cannot choose the speed of my fall (law of gravitation). Here I can not has a physical meaning. Human laws limit also my power to choose, but in another meaning. They impose obligations. The law of adultery, for instance, forbids to have sexual relationships with its children. I must not in a moral sense. I do not have the right. So, human laws determine artificially the limits of my power to choose. They limit the infinite freedom of the will and leads to the study of conditions of concrete freedom possessed by human beings in society. Concrete freedom is limited by the will of others and expressed through law partially originates in a process of mutual recognition. Then, concrete freedom is based on consent.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté Jean MonnetUniversity of Paris 11 (RITM) and Associate Economist, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne, University of Paris 1 (France)SceauxFrance