Asymmetry theories about free will and moral responsibility are a recent development in the long history of the free will debate. To my knowledge, Kant commentators have not yet explored the possibility of an asymmetrical reconstruction of Kant's theory of freedom, and that will be my goal here. By "free will", I mean the sort of control we would need to be morally responsible for our actions. Kant's term for it is "transcendental freedom", and he refers to the (...) attribution of moral responsibility as "imputation". By "Kant's theory of freedom", I mean not only his theory of transcendental freedom and imputation, but also the various ways in which he draws on these ideas in his moral theory. (shrink)
This paper concerns the relationship between two questions. The first is a question about inner freedom: What is it to be rendered unfree, not by external obstacles, but by aspects of oneself? The second is a question about agency: What is it to fail at being a thing that genuinely acts, and instead to be a thing that is merely acted upon, passive in relation to its own behaviour? It is widely believed that answers to the first question must (...) rest on or be partly explained by answers to the second. Here I argue that this is a mistake: losses of inner freedom are not, after all, explicable in terms of failures of agency. To establish this conclusion, I consider three familiar lines of thought that appear to tie ideas about inner freedom to ideas about agency, each relating to a different conception of inner freedom: absence of inner constraint, self-government, and absence of determination by external forces. I argue that, in each case, any apparent conceptual reliance on a special conception of agency is merely illusory, the result being that we must allow clear water between our theories of inner freedom and our theories of agency. This conclusion is of significance for contemporary theories of agency and personal autonomy, as well as for ‘positive’ conceptions of political liberty. (shrink)
It is my view that one essential difference between persons and other creatures is to be found in the structure of a person's will. Besides wanting and choosing and being moved to do this or that, men may also want to have certain desires and motives. They are capable of wanting to be different, in their preferences and purposes, from what they are. Many animals appear to have the capacity for what I shall call "first-order desires" or "desires of the (...) first order," which are simply desires to do or not to do one thing or another. No animal other than man, however, appears to have the capacity for reflective self-evaluation that is manifested in the formation of second-order desires. (shrink)
This paper provides further motivation for a principle relating freedom and modality that appeared in “Freedom and the Fixity of the Past” (The Philosophical Review, Vol. 121), where the principle was used to argue for incompatibilism about freedom and determinism. The paper also replies to objections to that principle from Tognazzini and Fischer (“Incompatibilism and the Past,” this volume).
A number of scholars have claimed that, on the assumption of incompati- bilism, there is a con ict between God's freedom and God's essential moral perfection. Jesse Couenhoven is one such example; Couenhoven, a com- patibilist, thinks that libertarian views of divine freedom are problematic given God's essential moral perfection. He writes, \libertarian accounts of God's freedom quickly run into a conceptual problem: their focus on con- tingent choices undermines their ability to celebrate divine freedom with (...) regard to the essential divine nature. For an Augustinian [i.e., a compat- ibilist], by contrast, God's freedom is not at odds with the necessities of perfect love but ful lled by it."1 Others who argue for similar conclusions include William Rowe and Wes Morriston. Michael Bergmann and Jan Cover have recently argued that divine responsibility and moral perfection are compatible with the absence of divine freedom. In this paper, I argue that the arguments which hold that divine freedom con icts with essen- tial divine moral perfection fail. I develop an account of divine freedom which not only doesn't con ict with God's essential moral goodness but shows that such goodness is a necessary part of perfected freedom. I then show how this understanding of free will takes away a major motivation for Bergmann and Cover's apparent willingness to reject divine freedom. (shrink)
On the whole, we continue to believe firmly both that we have free will and that we are morally responsible for what we do. Here, the author argues that there is a fundamental sense in which there is no such thing as free will or true moral responsibility (as ordinarily understood). Devoting the main body of his book to an attempt to explain why we continue to believe as we do, Strawson examines various aspects of the "cognitive phenomenology" of (...) class='Hi'>freedom--the nature, causes, and consequences of our deep commitment to belief in freedom. (shrink)
Some claim that Non- reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of (...)freedom needed to characterize certain special science entities, and those needed to characterize their composing physical entities; these correspond to what I call ‘reductions’, ‘restrictions’, and ‘eliminations’ in degrees of freedom. I then argue that eliminations in degrees of freedom, in particular—when strictly fewer degrees of freedom are required to characterize certain special science entities than are required to characterize their composing physical entities—provide a basis for making sense of how certain special science entities can be both physically acceptable and ontologically irreducible to physical entities. (shrink)
It is commonly held that Kant ventured to derive morality from freedom in Groundwork III. It is also believed that he reversed this strategy in the second Critique, attempting to derive freedom from morality instead. In this paper, I set out to challenge these familiar assumptions: Kant’s argument in Groundwork III rests on a moral conception of the intelligible world, one that plays a similar role as the ‘fact of reason’ in the second Critique. Accordingly, I argue, there (...) is no reversal in the proof-structure of Kant’s two works. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Margaret Cavendish’s account of freedom, and the role of education in freedom, is better able to account for the specifics of women’s lives than are Thomas Hobbes’ accounts of these topics. The differences between the two is grounded in their differing conceptions of the metaphysics of human nature, though the full richness of Cavendish’s approach to women, their minds and their freedom can be appreciated only if we take account of her (...) plays, accepting them as philosophical texts alongside her more standard philosophical treatises. (shrink)
David Lewis has recently deployed a contextualist strategy for defending ordinary claims to know.1 In this paper, I wish to extend that strategy to ordinary claims about freedom.2 The result is a species of compatibilism that, while foreign to current debates, has a good deal going for it.
Kant’s account of the freedom gained through virtue builds on the Socratic tradition. On the Socratic view, when morality is our end, nothing can hinder us from attaining satisfaction: we are self-sufficient and free since moral goodness is (as Kant says) “created by us, hence is in our power.” But when our end is the fulfillment of sensible desires, our satisfaction requires luck as well as the cooperation of others. For Kant, this means that happiness requires that we get (...) other people to work for our ends; and this requires, in turn, that we gain control over the things other people value so as to have influence over them. If this plan for happiness is not subordinated to morality, then what is most valuable to us will be precisely what others value. This is the root of the “passions” that make us evil and make us slaves whose satisfaction depends on others. But, significantly, this dependence is a moral slavery and hence does not signal a loss, or even diminishment of the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility. (shrink)
A fundamental entity is an entity that is ‘ontologically independent’; it does not depend on anything else for its existence or essence. It seems to follow that a fundamental entity is ‘modally free’ in some sense. This assumption, that fundamentality entails modal freedom (or ‘FEMF’ as I shall label the thesis), is used in the service of other arguments in metaphysics. But as I will argue, the road from fundamentality to modal freedom is not so straightforward. The defender (...) of FEMF should provide positive reasons for believing it, especially in light of recent views that are incompatible with it. I examine both direct and indirect routes to FEMF. (shrink)
Introduction: Critical realism, hegelian dialectic and the problems of philosophy preliminary considerations -- Objectives of the book -- Dialectic : an initial orientation -- Negation -- Four degrees of critical realism -- Prima facie objections to critical realism -- On the sources and general character of the hegelian dialectic -- On the immanent critique and limitations of the hegelian dialectic -- The fine structure of the hegelian dialectic -- Dialectic : the logic of absence, arguments, themes, perspectives, configurations -- Absence (...) -- Emergence -- Contradiction I : Hegel and Marx -- Contradiction II : misunderstandings -- On the materialist diffraction of dialectic -- Dialectical arguments and the unholy trinity -- Dialectical motifs : tina formation, mediation, concrete universality, etc -- On the generalized theory of the dialectical remark, the failure of detachment, and the presence of the past -- Dialectical critical naturalism -- Towards a real definition of dialectic -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectic of freedom -- Ontology -- The dialectic of truth -- On the emergence and derivability of dialecticized transcendental realism -- 1m realism : non-identity -- 2e realism : negativity -- Space, time and tense -- Social science, explanatory critique, emancipatory axiology -- 3l realism : totality -- 4d realism : agency -- The dialectic of desire to freedom -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectics of critical realism -- Metacritical dialectics : irrealism and its consequences -- Irrealism -- The problems of philosophy and their resolution -- Contradictions of the critical philosophy -- Dilemmas of the beautiful soul and the unhappy consciousness -- Master and slave : from dialectics of reconciliation to dialectics of liberation -- The metacritique of the hegelian dialectic -- Marxian dialectic i: the rational kernel in the mystical shell -- Marxian dialectic ii: the mystical shell in the rational kernel -- Metacritical dialectics : philosophical ideologies, their sublation and explanation -- The consequences of irrealism -- Diffracted and retotalized dialectics -- Dialectic as the pulse of freedom. (shrink)
I shall first briefly revisit the broad idea of ‘epistemic injustice’, explaining how it can take either distributive or discriminatory form, in order to put the concepts of ‘testimonial injustice’ and ‘hermeneutical injustice’ in place. In previous work I have explored how the wrong of both kinds of epistemic injustice has both an ethical and an epistemic significance—someone is wronged in their capacity as a knower. But my present aim is to show that this wrong can also have a political (...) significance in relation to non-domination, and so to freedom. While it is only the republican conception of political freedom that presents nondomination as constitutive of freedom, I shall argue that non-domination is best understood as a thoroughly generic liberal ideal of freedom to which even negative libertarians are implicitly committed, for non-domination is negative liberty as of right—secured non-interference. Crucially on this conception, non-domination requires that the citizen can contest interferences. Pettit specifies three conditions of contestation, each of which protects against a salient risk of the would-be contester not getting a ‘proper hearing’. But I shall argue that missing from this list is anything to protect against a fourth salient threat: the threat that either kind of epistemic injustice might disable contestation by way of an unjust deflation of either credibility or intelligibility. Thus we see that both testimonial and hermeneutical injustice can render a would-be contester dominated. Epistemic justice is thereby revealed as a constitutive condition of non-domination, and thus of a central liberal political ideal of freedom. (shrink)
In this article I present an original interpretation of Roy Bhaskar’s project in Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom. His major move is to separate an ontological dialectic from a critical dialectic, which in Hegel are laminated together. The ontological dialectic, which in Hegel is the self-unfolding of spirit, becomes a realist and relational philosophical anthropology. The critical dialectic, which in Hegel is confined to retracing the steps of spirit, now becomes an active force, dialectical critique, which interposes into the (...) ontological dialectic at the ‘fourth dimension’ of a naturalistically reconfigured account of relational human nature, agency. This account allows Bhaskar to explain and vindicate the crucial role social criticism must play in any realistic project of self-emancipation, and to create a space that didn’t exist in Hegel for an open-ended concrete utopianism. Freedom is thus the actualization of human nature, but is not automatic: the relation of human nature to freedom is mediated historically through dialectical critique, which, informed by concrete utopianism, can have emancipatory power. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 13-44 Authors Craig Reeves, Brunel University Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen famously offers a version of the luck objection to libertarianism called the ‘Rollback Argument.’ It involves a thought experiment in which God repeatedly rolls time backward to provide an agent with many opportunities to act in the same circumstance. Because the agent has the kind of freedom that affords her alternative possibilities at the moment of choice, she performs different actions in some of these opportunities. The upshot is that whichever action she performs in the actual-sequence (...) is intuitively a matter of mere chance. I explore a new response to the Rollback Argument. If there are true counterfactuals of libertarian freedom, then the agent performs the same action each time she is placed in the same circumstance, because that is what she would freely do in that circumstance. This response appears to negate the chancy intuition. Ultimately, however, I argue that this new response is unsuccessful, because there is a variant of the Rollback Argument that presents the same basic challenge to the libertarian on the assumption that there are true counterfactuals of libertarian freedom. Thus, true counterfactuals of libertarian freedom do not provide the libertarian with a solution to the Rollback Argument. (shrink)
This paper explores how horses are represented in the discourses of "natural horsemanship" , an approach to training and handling horses that advocates see as better than traditional methods. In speaking about their horses, NH enthusiasts move between two registers: On one hand, they use a quasi-scientific narrative, relying on terms and ideas drawn from ethology, to explain the instinctive behavior of horses. Within this mode of narrative, the horse is "other" and must be understood through the human learning to (...) communicate and through appropriate training. On the other hand, NH enthusiasts—like many horse owners—seek to emphasize partnership. In this type of discourse, people portray their horses as almost human. The tensions between these two ways of talking about horses reflect contradictory ideas about control versus freedom in relating to horses, especially as related to emotions expressed by caregivers about their relationships with horses. (shrink)
This paper analyzes ethical aspects of the new paradigm of Ambient Intelligence, which is a combination of Ubiquitous Computing and Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI’s). After an introduction to the approach, two key ethical dimensions will be analyzed: freedom and privacy. It is argued that Ambient Intelligence, though often designed to enhance freedom and control, has the potential to limit freedom and autonomy as well. Ambient Intelligence also harbors great privacy risks, and these are explored as well.
Even long after their formal exclusion has come to an end, members of previously oppressed social groups often continue to face disproportionate restrictions on their freedom, as the experience of many women over the last century has shown. Working within in a framework in which freedom is understood as independence from arbitrary power, Mary Wollstonecraft provides an explanation of why such domination may persist and offers a model through which it can be addressed. Republicans rely on processes of (...) rational public deliberation to highlight and combat oppression. However, where domination is primarily social rather than legal or political (such as where cultural attitudes, traditions and values exert an arbitrary and inhibiting force) then this defence against domination is often negated. Prejudice, she argues, ‘clouds’ people’s ability to reason and skews debate in favour of the dominant powers, thereby entrenching patterns of subjection. If they are to be independent, then, citizens require not only political rights but a platform from which to add their perspectives and interests to the background social values which govern political discussion. (shrink)
Can we reconcile the idea that we are free and responsible agents with the idea that what we do is determined according to natural laws? For centuries, philosophers have tried in different ways to show that we can. Hilary Bok takes a fresh approach here, as she seeks to show that the two ideas are compatible by drawing on the distinction between practical and theoretical reasoning.Bok argues that when we engage in practical reasoning--the kind that involves asking "what should I (...) do?" and sifting through alternatives to find the most justifiable course of action--we have reason to hold ourselves responsible for what we do. But when we engage in theoretical reasoning--searching for causal explanations of events--we have no reason to apply concepts like freedom and responsibility. Bok contends that libertarians' arguments against "compatibilist" justifications of moral responsibility fail because they describe human actions only from the standpoint of theoretical reasoning. To establish this claim, she examines which conceptions of freedom of the will and moral responsibility are relevant to practical reasoning and shows that these conceptions are not vulnerable to many objections that libertarians have directed against compatibilists. Bok concludes that the truth or falsity of the claim that we are free and responsible agents in the sense those conceptions spell out is ultimately independent of deterministic accounts of the causes of human actions.Clearly written and powerfully argued, Freedom and Responsibility is a major addition to current debate about some of philosophy's oldest and deepest questions. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a framework to understand the transition in Foucault’s work from the disciplinary model to the governmentality model. Foucault’s work on power emerges within the general context of an expression of capitalist rationality and the nature of freedom and power within it. I argue that, thus understood, Foucault’s transition to the governmentality model can be seen simultaneously as a deepening recognition of what capitalism is and how it works, but also as a recognition of the (...) changing historical nature of the actually existing capitalisms and their specifically situated historical needs. I then argue that the disciplinary model should be understood as a contingent response to the demands of early capitalism, and argue that with the maturation of the capitalist enterprise many of those responses are no longer necessary. New realities require new responses; although this does not necessarily result in the abandonment of the earlier disciplinary model, it does require their reconfiguration according to the changed situation and the new imperatives following from it. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher argued that the freedom to pursue one's version of the good life is the main aim of Mill's argument for freedom of expression. According to Kitcher, in certain scientific fields, political and epistemological asymmetries bias research toward conclusions that threaten this most important freedom of underprivileged groups. Accordingly, Kitcher claimed that there are Millian grounds for limiting freedom of inquiry in these fields to protect the freedom of the underprivileged. -/- I explore Kitcher's (...) argument in light of the interpretation Helen Longino gave to Mill's argument. She argued that free critical dialogue in the community allows bias to be overcome, through intersubjective criticism of hypotheses and the background assumptions that frame them. I suggest that Longino's approach allows for the identification of the fundamental problems of the research programs Kitcher targeted, and for the rejection of their claims to knowledge. Thus it is possible to address Kitcher's problem without limiting freedom of speech. (shrink)
Much recent philosophical work on social freedom focuses on whether freedom should be understood as non-interference, in the liberal tradition associated with Isaiah Berlin, or as non-domination, in the republican tradition revived by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner. We defend a conception of freedom that lies between these two alternatives: freedom as independence. Like republican freedom, it demands the robust absence of relevant constraints on action. Unlike republican, and like liberal freedom, it is not (...) moralized. We show that freedom as independence retains the virtues of its liberal and republican counterparts while shedding their vices. Our aim is to put this conception of freedom more firmly on the map and to offer a novel perspective on the logical space in which different conceptions of freedom are located. (shrink)
Some defenders of the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) have responded to the challenge of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP by arguing that there remains a flicker of freedom -- that is, an alternative possibility for action -- left to the agent in FSCs. I argue that the flicker of freedom strategy is unsuccessful. The strategy requires the supposition that doing an act-on-one''s-own is itself an action of sorts. I argue that either this supposition is confused and leads (...) to counter-intuitive results; or, if the supposition is acceptable, then it is possible to use it to construct a FSC in which there is no flicker of freedom at all. Either way, the flicker of freedom strategy is ineffective against FSCs. Since the flicker of freedom strategy is arguably the best defense of PAP, I conclude that FSCs are successful in showing that PAP is false. An agent can act with moral responsibility without having alternative possibilities available to her. (shrink)
Daniel C. Dennett is a brilliant polemicist, famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies. Over the last thirty years, he has played a major role in expanding our understanding of consciousness, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory. And with such groundbreaking, critically acclaimed books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist), he has reached a huge general and professional audience. In this new book, Dennett shows that evolution is the key to resolving the ancient problems (...) of moral and political freedom. Like the planet's atmosphere on which life depends, the conditions on which our freedom depends had to evolve, and like the atmosphere, they continue to evolve-and could be extinguished. According to Dennett, biology provides the perspective from which we can distinguish the varieties of freedom that matter. Throughout the history of life on this planet, an interacting web and internal and external conditions have provided the frameworks for the design of agents that are more free than their parts-from the unwitting gropings of the simplest life forms to the more informed activities of animals to the moral dilemmas that confront human beings living in societies. As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how we came to be different from all other creatures, how our early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave us our minds, our visions, our moral problems-in a nutshell, our freedom. (shrink)
While Nietzsche's rejection of metaphysical free will and moral desert has been widely recognised, the sense in which Nietzsche continues to use the term freedom affirmatively remains largely unnoticed. The aim of this article is to show that freedom and agency are among Nietzsche’s central concerns, that his much-discussed interest in power in fact originates in a first-person account of freedom, and that his understanding of the phenomenology of freedom informs his theory of agency. He develops (...) a non-reductive drive-psychological motivational theory: reflective judgement and reasons can motivate by means of affective orientations agents have due to their drives. In particular, due to a standing desire or 'instinct for freedom' agents can generate, in mental simulations, the necessary motivational affects to unify their drives in view of certain long-term goals. (shrink)
Historically, republicans were of different minds about markets: some, such as Rousseau, reviled them, while others, like Adam Smith, praised them. The recent republican resurgence has revived this issue. Classical liberals such as Gerald Gaus contend that neo-republicanism is inherently hostile to markets, while neo-republicans like Richard Dagger and Philip Pettit reject this characterization—though with less enthusiasm than one might expect. I argue here that the right republican attitude toward competitive markets is celebratory rather than acquiescent and that republicanism demands (...) such markets for the same reason it requires the rule of law: because both are essential institutions for protecting individuals from arbitrary interference. I reveal how competition restrains—and in the limit, even eradicates—market power and thereby helps us realize “market freedom,” i.e., freedom as non-domination in the context of economic exchange. Finally, I show that such freedom necessitates “Anglo-Nordic” economic policies. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the entanglement of the modern concepts of freedom, autonomy, and the modern notion of the subject and how a passion for and insistence on freedom has undermined the reconstruction of human subjectivity in Heidegger and Foucault, and how such passion has also limited the educational effort at addressing the problems brought to education by the modern notion of the subject. Drawing on Levinas, it suggests that a new understanding of freedom as heteronomy will allow (...) us to envision an open subjectivity that is essential for education. Particularly, it looks at Gert Biesta’s recent campaigns for “subjectification” and “the gift of teaching” to analyze the underlying contradictions caused by the entanglement of freedom and subjectivity. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In contemporary discussions of freedom in Stoic philosophy we often encounter the following assumptions: (i) the Stoics discussed the problem of free will and determinis; (ii) since in Stoic philosophy freedom of the will is in the end just an illusion, the Stoics took the freedom of the sage as a substitute for it and as the only true freedom; (iii) in the c. 500 years of live Stoic philosophical debate, the Stoics were largely concerned (...) with the same philosophical problems of freedom. In this paper I argue that (i) can be upheld only in a very restricted way; (ii) is altogether untenable; and regarding (iii), that, although there may have occurred little change in the Stoic philosophical position on freedom over the centuries, we can detect more than one transformation of the philosophical problems that were at the forefront of the discussion. Moreover, that all the conceptions and problems of freedom were linked to Stoic ethics, and that the differences between them become transparent when one considers their various roles in this context. (shrink)
Argues that standard interpretations of Merleau-Ponty's criticisms of Sartrean freedom fail and presents an alternative interpretation that argues that the fundamental issue concerns their different theories of time.
I seek to clarify the notion of the fixity of the past appropriate to Pike’s regimentation of the argument for the incompatibility of God’s foreknowledge and human freedom. Also, I discuss Alvin Plantinga’s famous example of Paul and the Ant Colony in light of Pike’s argument.
ABSTRACT: A general interpretation and close textual analysis of Kant’s theory of the categories of freedom (or categories of practical reason) in his Critique of Practical Reason. My main concerns in the paper are the following: (1) I show that Kant’s categories of freedom have primarily three functions: as conditions of the possibility for actions (i) to be free, (ii) to be comprehensible as free and (iii) to be morally evaluated. (2) I show that for Kant actions, although (...) qua theoretical objects they are always already constituted by means of the theoretical categories, qua practical objects (objects of reason in its practical use, i.e. objects qua possibly good or bad) they are constituted by means of the categories of freedom; and that it is only in this way that actions, qua phenomena, can be a consequence of freedom, and can be understood and evaluated as such. (3) Since Kant's presentation of his theory of the Categories of Freedom is extremely brief, Kant's parallel theory of the theoretical categories in his Critique of Pure Reason is used as a guide for the interpretation of the practical categories and their systematic relevance. (Translation by Alex Worsnip, reviewed and approved by the author.). (shrink)
In this paper we reply to the most important objections to our advocacy of moral enhancement by biomedical means – moral bioenhancement – that John Harris advances in his new book How to be Good. These objections are to effect that such moral enhancement undercuts both moral reasoning and freedom. The latter objection is directed more specifically at what we have called the God Machine, a super-duper computer which predicts our decisions and prevents decisions to perpertrate morally atrocious acts. (...) In reply, we argue first that effective moral bioenhancement presupposes moral reasoning rather than undermines it. Secondly, that the God Machine would leave us with extensive freedom and that the restrictions it imposes on it are morally justified by the prevention of harm to victims. (shrink)
At the core of republican thought, on Philip Pettit’s account, lies the conception of freedom as non-domination, as opposed to freedom as noninterference in the liberal sense. I revisit the distinction between liberal and republican freedom and argue that republican freedom incorporates a particular rule-of-law requirement, whereas liberal freedom does not. Liberals may also endorse such a requirement, but not as part of their conception of freedom itself. I offer a formal analysis of this (...) rule-of-law requirement and compare liberal and republican freedom on its basis. While I agree with Pettit that republican freedom has broader implications than liberal freedom, I conclude that we face a trade-off between two dimensions of freedom (scope and robustness) and that it is harder for republicans to solve that trade-off than it is for liberals. Key Words: freedom • republicanism • liberalism • noninterference • non-domination • rule of law • robustness • liberal paradox. (shrink)
In "Existential Humanism and Moral Freedom in Simone de Beauvoir's Ethics" Tove Pettersen elucidates the close connection between Beauvoir’s ethics and humanism, and argues that her humanism is an existential humanism. Beauvoir’s concept of freedom is inspected, followed by a discussion of her reasons for making moral freedom the leading normative value, and her claim that we must act for humanity. In Beauvoir’s ethics, freedom is not reserved for the elite, but understood as everyone being “able (...) to surpass the given toward an open future.” By addressing the continuing friction between individual freedom and public interests, Beauvoir’s normative thinking remains highly relevant today. It also exemplifies the enduring importance of humanistic reflections and demonstrates how, through critical and creative thinking, the humanities can contribute to a free, well-functioning democratic society. (shrink)
Two competing models of metaaxiological justification of politics are analyzed. Politics is understood broadly, as actions which aim at organizing social life. I will be, first of all, interested in law making activities. When I talk about metaaxiological justification I think not so much about determinations of what is good, but about determinations refering to the way the good is founded, in short: determinations which answer the question why something is good. In the first model, which is described here as (...) objectivistic, it is assumed that determining that which is good is a matter of cognition; in the second model, which could be described here as voluntaristic or excedingly liberal, it is assumed that determining good is not a matter of cognition but of will – something is good because it is wanted. In the latter model, the cognoscibility of good is rejected and therefore the objective criteria for evaluation of which ‘will’ is better and which is worse are rejected. As a consequence, negative freedom becomes the fundamental value of social order and the basic requirement is that of maximizing the sphere of individual’s free actions, the sphere which is free from interference of other individuals or institutions. I am going to argue that none of these models is acceptable as a basis of oragnizing social life, and at least because of one reason. Each of them leads to a certain version of totalitarianism. In the conclusion I am going to present a mixed model, which, in my opinion, reflexes well the practice of democratic states. Analysis of these three models allows, first of all, to identify more clearly some of the problems appearing in making law, including procedural questions. By pointing at the interdependence of the foundations of good and law making procedures it is argued that the choice of the concept of good (a metaaxiological choice) is primary to the choice of law making procedures. (shrink)
As good a definition as any of a _philosophical_ conundrum is a problem all of whose possible solutions are unsatisfactory. The problem of understanding the springs of action for morally responsible agents is commonly recognized to be such a problem. The origin, nature, and explanation of freely-willed actions puzzle us today as they did the ancients Greeks, and for much the same reasons. However, one can carry this ‘perennial-puzzle’ sentiment too far. The unsatisfactory nature of philosophical theories is a more (...) or less matter, and some of them have admitted of improvement over time. This, at any rate, is what we self-selecting metaphysicians tend to suppose, and I will pursue that high calling by suggesting a few improvements to a theory of metaphysical freedom, or freedom of the will. (shrink)
In this paper I examine Axel Honneth’s normative reconstruction of the market as a sphere of social freedom in his 2014 book, Freedom’s Right. Honneth’s position is complex: on the one hand, he acknowledges that modern capitalist societies do not realise social freedom; on the other hand, he insists that the promise of social freedom is implicit in the market sphere. In fact, the latter explains why modern subjects have seen capitalism as legitimate. I will reconstruct (...) Honneth’s conception of social freedom and investigate how it is realised in the sphere in which Honneth sees it most successfully at work, the sphere of interpersonal relations. I then move on to the sphere of the market economy and discuss two related problems of this view that stem from his interpretation of Hegel. Next, I consider Honneth’s method of “normative reconstruction” and his reconstructions of the sphere of consumption and, finally, the labour market. My conclusion will be that market institutions cannot realise social freedom, and that this insight should orient the philosophical direction of critical social theory. (shrink)
This article pursues the question whether and inasmuch theories of corporate responsibility are dependent on conceptions of managerial freedom. I argue that neglect of the idea of freedom in economic theory has led to an inadequate conceptualization of the ethical responsibilities of corporations within management theory. In a critical review of the history of economic ideas, I investigate why and how the idea of freedom was gradually removed from the canon of economics. This reconstruction aims at a (...) deconstruction of certain axioms of neoclassical economics that hamper contemporary efforts in integrating ethics firmly into management education. I intend to show by these deconstructive endeavors that a constructive use of the idea of responsible freedom could correct and complement the current quantitative focus in business theory through qualitative orientations. I argue that with the help of qualitative success criteria, the strategic integration of the tenets of both business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility into business practice can be advanced by further research. (shrink)
Religious freedom is often thought to protect not only religious practices but also the underlying religious beliefs of citizens. But what should be said about religious beliefs that oppose religious freedom itself or that deny the concept of equal citizenship? The author argues here that such beliefs, while protected against coercive sanction, are rightly subject to attempts at transformation by the state in its expressive capacities. Transformation is entailed by a commitment to publicizing the reasons and principles that (...) justify the basic rights of citizens. (shrink)
Kant’s views on the relation between freedom and moral law seem to undergo a major, unannounced shift. In the third section of the Groundwork, Kant seems to be using the fact that we must act under the idea of freedom as a foundation for the moral law. However, in the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant claims that our awareness of our freedom depends on our awareness of the moral law. I argue that the apparent conflict between the (...) two texts depends on a reading of the opening paragraphs of Groundwork III, and on an interpretation of Kant’s claim that we “act under the idea of freedom”, that is implausible on textual and on philosophical grounds. I then present an alternative interpretation of what Kant means by “acting under the idea of freedom” and of the opening paragraphs of Groundwork III. I argue that the only substantive conclusion of these paragraphs is that no theoretical proof of freedom is necessary. Moreover I argue that although these paragraphs raise concerns about the validity of the moral law, these concerns and Kant’s answers to them, do not give rise to any significant conflict with his views in the Critique of Practical Reason. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present and analyse legal acts cited in the European Parliament resolution of 20 January 2011 on the situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion. The author presents the substance of the right to religious freedom and the position of religious freedom among other human rights. The paper also shows the formation of European law on religious freedom and grasps the development trends in this area. Because of (...) the discrepancies that arise when translating the same foreign terms into the Polish language, in order to better explain the content of the cited documents, the texts are also given in English language. The article is the summary of basic legal regulations relevant to reflect on religious freedom at EU level. Compiled materials may be useful to continue the reflection on religious freedom. (shrink)
Several prominent incompatibilists, e.g., Robert Kane and Derk Pereboom, have advanced an analogical argument in which it is claimed that a deterministic world is essentially the same as a world governed by a global controller. Since the latter world is obviously one lacking in an important kind of freedom, so must any deterministic world. The argument is challenged whether it is designed to show that determinism precludes freedom as power or freedom as self-origination. Contrary to the claims (...) of its adherents, the global controller nullifies freedom because she is an agent, whereas natural forces are at work in conventional deterministic worlds. Other key differences that undermine the analogy are identified. It is also shown that the argument begs the question against the classical compatibilist, who believes that determinism does not preclude alternative possibilities. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Adorno's metacritique of freedom in Negative Dialectics and related texts remains fruitful today. I begin with some background on Adorno's conception of ‘metacritique’ and on Kant's conception of freedom, as I understand it. Next, I discuss Adorno's analysis of the experiential content of Kantian freedom, according to which Kant has reified the particular social experience of the early modern bourgeoisie in his conception of unconditioned freedom. Adorno argues against this conception (...) of freedom and suggests that freedom is always conditioned by our embodiment and by our social and historical situation. Finally, I turn to Adorno's criticism of Kant's discussion of freedom and determinism in the Critique of Pure Reason and argue that while his philosophical argument against Kant fails, his metacritical argument remains suggestive. Scepticism about freedom arises when the standpoint of theoretical reason encroaches upon the standpoint of practical reason and assimilates persons to things. (shrink)
This paper considers Aquinas's accounts of the end of human action and the structure of human action, examines the debate between intellectualist and voluntarist interpretations of Aquinas, and corrects mistaken accounts of Aquinas's views on freedom, necessitation, and causation.
The Congress for Cultural Freedom is remembered as a paramount example of the “cultural cold wars.” In this paper, I discuss the ways in which this powerful transnational organization sought to promote “science studies” as a distinct – and politically relevant – area of expertise, and part of the CCF broader agenda to offer a renewed framework for liberalism. By means of its Study Groups, international conferences and its periodicals, such as Minerva, the Congress developed into an influential forum (...) for examining the ways Big Science impacted the relations between science, society, and politics, thus constituting a semi-institutional niche for Science Studies before its professionalization within academia during the 1970s. I argue that the Congress contributed to the construction of public space in which the relations between science, society and politics were debated, and science was reconceptualized as a social activity. The vision of “science studies” the CCF-associated intellectuals promulgated was different from the science studies we know today. Yet, this alternative vision, in which the issues of science politics appeared inseparable from those of science policy, science organization, and science governance, constituted the “pre-history” of science studies today. (shrink)