Grounding Equal Freedom

An Interview with Ian Carter


  • Ian Carter Pavia University, Italy



This is an interview by the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics with Ian Carter. The interview covers Carter's intellectual biography; his extensive writings on the measurement and value of freedom; his reflections on the use of formal methods in philosophical work on freedom and in political philosophy more broadly; his more recent work on basic equality and respect for persons; and, finally, his advice to young scholars.

Author Biography

Ian Carter, Pavia University, Italy

Ian Carter (Emsworth UK, 1964) is professor of Political Philosophy at Pavia University in Italy. He has spent most of his career in Pavia, interrupted by brief periods visiting Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, his country of origin. He studied at the University of Newcastle (BA), the University of Manchester (MA), and the European University Institute in Florence (PhD), and was then a lecturer at Manchester University before moving to Pavia in 1993.

Carter’s philosophical work has focused primarily on the analysis of fundamental concepts in normative political theory. His ground-breaking monograph A Measure of Freedom (1999) was the first book-length treatment of the problems that arise if one assumes political and social freedom to be a matter of degree and therefore to be measurable in an overall sense. It also examined the place of the measurement of freedom in a broader theory of justice. Carter has since then continued to contribute to discussions on freedom, including as a prominent liberal critic of the ‘republican’ conception of freedom, defending the more basic normative role of the liberal ‘negative’ conception. More recently, he has played an influential part in debates about the foundations of egalitarianism, developing an account of basic equality grounded in the idea of ‘opacity respect’. He is currently working on a monograph that further develops the idea of opacity respect and its implications for egalitarian justice.




How to Cite

Carter, I. (2022). Grounding Equal Freedom: An Interview with Ian Carter. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 14(2), 123–156.