Freedom as a Natural Phenomenon

Foundations of Science 20 (3):1-10 (2015)

Authors
Martin Zwick
Portland State University
Abstract
“Freedom” is a phenomenon in the natural world. This phenomenon—and indirectly the question of free will—is explored using a variety of systems-theoretic ideas. It is argued that freedom can emerge only in systems that are partially determined and partially random, and that freedom is a matter of degree. The paper considers types of freedom and their conditions of possibility in simple living systems and in complex living systems that have modeling subsystems. In simple living systems, types of freedom include independence from fixed materiality, internal rather than external determination, activeness that is unblocked and holistic, and the capacity to choose or alter environmental constraint. In complex living systems, there is freedom in satisfaction of lower level needs that allows higher potentials to be realized. Several types of freedom also manifest in the modeling subsystems of these complex systems: in the transcending of automatism in subjective experience, in reason as instrument for passion yet also in reason ruling over passion, in independence from informational colonization by the environment, and in mobility of attention. Considering the wide range of freedoms in simple and complex living systems allows a panoramic view of this diverse and important natural phenomenon.
Keywords Freedom  Free will  Determinism  Agency  Autonomy  Autopoiesis  Automatism  Sensitivity  Consciousness
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-015-9433-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Theory of Human Motivation.A. H. Maslow - 1943 - Psychological Review 50 (4):370-396.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Problem of Freedom.Mary T. Clark (ed.) - 1973 - New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Believing Autonomously.Mark Leon - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:169-183.
The Psychology of Freedom.Raymond Van Over - 1974 - Fawcett Publications.
Freedom: East and West.Jaysankar Shaw - 2011 - Sophia 50 (3):481-497.
Epistemic Freedom.J. David Velleman - 1989 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 70 (1):73-97.
Morality and Freedom.Alan Carter - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):161 - 180.
Morality and Freedom.By Alan Carter - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):161–180.
Freedom and Free Will in Spinoza and Santayana.Angus Kerr-Lawson - 2001 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14 (4):243-267.
What Freedom Is.Wells Earl Draughon - 2003 - Writer's Showcase.
Freedom and Determinism.Jenann Ismael - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
Divine Determinism, Human Freedom, and the Consequence Argument.Leigh C. Vicens - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (2):145-155.
Free Will as Relative Freedom with Conscious Component.P. Hájı´ček - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):103-109.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-09-19

Total views
86 ( #82,929 of 2,320,210 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #55,847 of 2,320,210 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature