Hello All, been a while since I last psted, and things in the uni-work situation haven’t changed much! I have an essay due tommorow, which should be interesting as I’m arguing about freedom in a Nietzschian / Gide / Margaret Atwood perspectives and whether Post Modernism or Modernism presents the best form of ‘freedom’.
To do this of course, I need to know what freedom is – we all think we know waht freedom is, but it is really quite a complex term to not only define but even reconcile to the real world. People have fought and died for freedom, but essentially it exists still as an independent concept – that is everybody has their own idea of what their personal freedom is, and philosophy certainly doesn’t seem to help reconcile that freedom.
Anyway – I regard freedom as the ability to choose between totaly equaly propositions or beliefs. By totaly equal, I mean probability and incentive wise.
In regards to this, if somebody was to coerce you into a decision, either by positive or negative means (reward or punishment), that decision would not be made freely, because the choice the external party wants you to make has a higher probability of appealing to you, as it results in a reward or removal of punishment.
As most everybody knows, advertising, marketing, society and environmental factors impact onteh decisions we make. Under my definition of freedom, I do not believe decisions influenced by these factors are free – the probability of your choices has been altered by some external factor.
These views of mine ar ein direct contrast to Mike’s, who believes (as best I understand) freedom is the ability to make a choice, regardless of the factors influencing your choice. Providing you have a choice, even if that choice is heavily influenced by an external party – it still represents the freedom.
Freedom to choose or freedom of choice?
Sir Isaiah Berlin ( famous for…
) Also came up with two seperate hypothesis of freedom. Positive and Neggative Freedom. Positive Freedom is akin to ‘freedom to’ and Neggative Freedom is akin to ‘Freedom from.’
‘Freedom to’ includes concepts about rights to develop your potential, freedom to be whoever or whatever you please. Everybody should be equal and we should all have the same list of options as such, and the government should esnure that via our right to education and medication etc.
‘Freedom from’ is the concept that we should be free from external restraint or impediment, we should be free from fear, freedom of speech, free from excessive government control, taxes etc.
What form of freedom do you believe in?