freedom to choose

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Something to thing about – according to Sartre we are free to choose, but we are not guaranteed success. It’s quite depressing actually, and I don’t think it quite covers all possibilities. That is I could choose to move my arm but if you have tied me up it won’t work. Common sense says I’m not free, but according to Sartre so long as I can keep trying to move, even if there is no possibility of succeeding, I am.

Other than that am feeling kind of lethargic, but am so close to Christmas I am trying not to give into it and slow down.

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2 responses »

  1. One of the big problems with freedom is that very few acts are entirely self regarding. As a result, we not only have to deal with external constriants, ie being tied up, or the laws of physics or our own physical and entallimitations, we also have to limit our actions out of concern for other people.ie ‘the freedom of my fist ends at the tip of your nose’ to quote Cliff Hanley.
    If you want to avoid this last constraint, and the others seem to be inescapable, you have to be completely alone (which is boring), or a psychopath (in which case you’ll be even more constrained by your own limitations)
    There is also the problem that freedom can be scary. As someone familier with Satre’s work, you’ll be aware of how often he, like other existentialists uses words like dread, fear and loathing, nausea.
    This isn’t a very cheerful reply. Sorry.
    But you did give me something to think about, so thanks for that. And I like your patches too.

    • I’m inclined to think that some of the constraints out of concerns for others are constraints we freely choose, social contract arrangements I.e. we agree to limit our own freedoms to go around hitting people in the head, if they agree to the same. So even though you are constrained you are still free, plus you could at anytime change your mind and choose to hit them.

      The psychopath issue is more complicated and probably where Sartre and modern psychology would part ways (if they haven’t already). Sartre would suggest that they choose psychopathy whereas psychology would suggest that they are unable to be anything other than a psychopath. If it is true that they can’t be anything else then they aren’t really free and are actually more constrained than the rest of us, even if their actions suggest otherwise.

      I’m glad you like the blocks 🙂

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