Cambridge historian lectures on concepts of liberty

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Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom Professor Quentin Skinner is generally regarded as one of the two principal members of the influential 'Cambridge School' of the study of the history of political thought.

Professor Skinner is chiefly interested in the intellectual history of early-modern Europe, and within this area he specialises in two related fields. One is the culture of the Renaissance, especially early Italian art and the evolution of humanist moral and political thought. The other is seventeenth-century political philosophy, in particular the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, on which he has published two books and numerous articles.

He is also interested in a number of more purely philosophical issues. He has written on historical explanation, on the general nature of interpretation, and on several topics in contemporary political theory, in particular the concept of political liberty and the character of the State.

In this lecture, in order to understand the underpinnings of the concept of liberty, which he named as being one of the most central values in our current political life, Professor Skinner took a look at the genealogical history and philosophy of ‘liberty’ and examined the implications of various approaches.

‘How many concepts of liberty?’ by Professor Quentin Skinner is available as a podcast