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Freedom

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Download Referat - Freedom
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Trimis de Aurel
din 24 Martie 2009

The word “freedom” is full of ambiguities. An unemployed man is free, because he is not restricted to behave in a certain way by the schedule of a factory, job, or the burden of daily servitutes. An unemployed man is, still, a slave because he is submitted to restrictions of misery, or the restrictions that his needs impose on him. So he is free to look for and find a job, but his employers are free to offer fim nothing. Consequently, the unemployed man is not free to live any longer. Many unemployed people commit suicide being free to choose not to live. All in all, frredom supposes ambiguities.

Historically speaking, people have associated the notion of freedom with their being free to impose on the others their own will, while the others were “slaves”, or imposed upon. This social meaning was challenged when certain people discovered that we are born naturally free – all of us - ; consequently, the individual and the community became fully aware of their social and political rights as free people. Following the path opened by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, some philosophers such as John Locke, David Hume, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes defined “natural state” as a state of “perfect freedom” of man to decide upon their actions and make choices according to their will. This meant political and juridical equality between people: they are equal in front of the law and in front of the political institution. But these considerations refer to political philosophy, demonstrating that fear and freedom are compatible (we do something out of fear but we may refuse to do it; for example, paying taxes – we are free not to pay them, but we still do it for fear that we might get sanctions). Liberty is also compatible with necessity.

Philosophically speaking, we need to adopt a form of negative definition so as to apply it to all form of freedom: freedom is the absence of constraints, or restrictions. So, we can accept the existence of types of freedom. For example, in Physics, we speak about free fall. In Politics, we speak about freedom of association opinion (being independent of the authority of the government), in Economy, we refer to free economic change, meaning trade free from customs taxes, or imposes payments.

Starting from this anlarged definition, the metaphysical philosophers created the concept of absolute freedom. This idea opposes nature, consisting a kind of passage to the limits: we represent our free action as successively “free” from any types of causes. But this type of freedom is the power of acting independently not only in connection with outer, or exterior restrictions, but also in connection with any inner determination. This is called the free will of the metaphysical philosophy, and refers to the misterious power of carrying out actions that are not previously determined by my ideas, my instincts or my aptitudes.

Referring to the free will, we find out that we can not demonstrate the existence of such a type of freedom. To do so, we have to come back to necessity, and liberty or freedom supposes contingency, or the absence of necessity.

Paradoxically, a piece of evidence of freedom would kill freedom.
Nevertheless, if we can not demonstrate the existence of freedom, we could experience it under the form of free will.
Descartes, the French philosopher, Leibnitz, the German philosopher, speak about the “vivid inner feeling” of free will.

If we refer to Descartes, he states that we experience an infinite type of free will, similar to God’s free will. “We think, so we exist” means that I believe what I see clearly and distinctly with the light of my intellectual mind. But I see only what I watch and I watch what I want. The evidence of truth is submitted to the free benevolence of my attention. And this interpretation is debatable, because my power of attention within my mental life can not be isolated; on the contrary, the power of attention is determined by my mental life.

The “free action” should be tested in such circumstances in which we would not have a reason to make us have a preference or motivation. This gratuity of the action would be what distinguishes man from the animal. Otherwise, all the actions are motivated by interest, curiosity, passion – a possible cause. The “free action” is determined by the very reason that we need to behave unconventionally.

Nevertheless, our unconscious mind is able to dictate to us actions that are motivated by secret frustrations or complexes of inferiority. The “inner feeling”, the experience have no objective value.

In conclusion, it is absurd to accept “the arguments in favour of a pure free will action”, because we would have to accept irrational behaviour in the course of the human actions.

The philosophy of necessity ( stoical philosophy or Spinoza’s system) states that man is a were element of the cosmic world, a small part determined by the whole. ...

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