The Implication of the Ambiguity of the Concept of Freedom

By Chin-Tai Kim.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 22, 2016 $US5.00

The concept of freedom has an experiential origin in a practical context of human life. This concept and others associated with it have a prior claim to structure human moral life. The genealogy of the concept and its prominently practical employment, however, do not logically compel the adoption of a worldview that offers a definite interpretation of the nature of freedom, causality, determinism, or human destiny. The construction of a worldview may indeed involve a move to deny applicability to the concept of freedom. Yet we cannot honestly participate in a discourse in which we define, affirm, or deny freedom without admitting that we feel free and responsible in fundamental noetic and conative acts. Since we cannot exist as humans without thinking and deciding, we must consider ourselves free in that primordial sense. Here we have a dialectical defense of freedom but such defense is an aspect of a continuing pursuit, by human beings existing in time, of a proper balance between the demands of theory and those of practice.

Keywords: Foundations of Ethics, Conditions of Agency, Primacy of the Practical

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 14, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.23-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 548.142KB)).

Prof. Chin-Tai Kim

Professor, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA