Full Text

freedom


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

P hilosophy of mind, philosophy of action, ethics, political philosophy A concept concerning thought and action which has two related aspects: negative freedom , or freedom from, is the power to act in the absence of external constraint, coercion, or compulsion; and positive freedom, or freedom to, is the power to choose one's own goals and course of conduct among alternatives. Under these general determinations, freedom has various forms, of which freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, freedom of association, and various economic freedoms are historically the most important. If one can claim freedom regarding an interest, then one has a right to pursue that interest. Freedom is used as a synonym of liberty , and J. S. Mill 's On Liberty has had the greatest influence among books on the concept of freedom. For Plato , a man is free if he is governed by reason , but a slave if he is ruled by desires and passions. Kant distinguished the theoretical sense of freedom, that is, the spontaneity of understanding as opposed to receptivity of the sensibility, from the practical sense of freedom, that is, the autonomy of the will as opposed to heteronomy. Fichte and Schelling transformed spontaneity and autonomy respectively into subjective or objective absolutes, a tendency inherited by Sartre but criticized by Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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