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Freedom is first of all a metaphysical notion: is man free or determined by constraints that he does not control? If he is the root cause of his choices, he is said to have free will. But such power is difficult to demonstrate. It is then a moral notion. For Kant, freedom, which cannot be demonstrated, must be postulated so that morality is possible. Indeed, only a free being can choose between Good and Evil: in order to have a duty, one must first be able. Conversely, according to Kant, only a moral being can be free: freedom is then synonymous with autonomy. Conversely, the one who wants to enjoy without moral constraint is called a libertine. It is finally a political notion. Here we oppose the free citizen to the slave. When the state exerts few constraints on the individual, we speak of a liberal state. If the individual considers that the laws are too restrictive and kill his freedom (that they are liberticidal), he sometimes challenges the State in all its forms. Such an individual is said to be a libertarian or an anarchist.


Buridan's donkey

What happens if you place a donkey equidistant from a water jump and a sack of oats? Medieval philosopher Buridan replies that the donkey will not move and will die of hunger and thirst. Why ? Because the motives for its possible action cancel each other out. This is not the case with the man who, in the absence of a decisive motive, can still decide to act thanks to a force which does not need any other cause than himself: free will. . Only man has free will:
he is indeed the image of God and thus escapes the animal kingdom.

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3 years ago