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Human Freedom

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on 21 September 2015

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Transcript of Human Freedom

He seems to affirm that MAN IS NOT FREE because:
Jean Paul Sartre
His position seems to be one of absolute indeterminism or total freedom.
In Sartre’s view man actually has no history.
The individual has only his future project which he makes entirely of himself and for which he alone is responsible.

Abraham Maslow
He offers something of a compromise position.
Man cannot be reduced to his historicity, to his environment, to determinism; nor can man be totally divorced from them.

Human Freedom
A man held up a book of matches
Hold or drop?
B.F Skinner
All present behavior is controlled
by previous behavior.
by John F. Kavanaugh

BF Skinner's answer:
“You will, of course, do one or the other,” said Frazier. “Linguistically or logically there seem to be two possibilities, but I submit that there’s only one in fact. The determining forces may be subtle but they are inexorable. I suggest that as an orderly person you will probably hold-ah! you drop them! Well, you see, that’s all part of your behavior with respect to me. You couldn’t resist the temptation to prove me wrong. It was all lawful. You had no choice. The deciding factor entered rather late, and naturally you couldn’t foresee the result when you first held them up. There was no strong likelihood that you would act in either direction, and so you said you were free.”
All behavior has motivation causes which are necessitating causes.
To be a
human person
a) to have potentialities which liberate him from blind necessity - - to be able to know, question, and mold himself
b) to be inserted into an environment and history which help him actualize these potentialities
Jean Paul Sartre's answer:
"Life is a continual series of choices for the individual in which a main determinant of choice is the person as he already is (including his goals for himself, his courage or fear, his feeling of responsibility, his ego-strength or “will power,” etc.). We can no longer think of the person as “fully determined” where this phase implies “determined only by forces external to the person.” The person, insofar as he is a real person, is his own main determinant. Every person is, in part, “his own project” and makes himself. "
Abraham Maslow's answer
"All men seem to be at least experientially aware of freedom in choice. The experience is so primary, in fact, that it is difficult to conceive oneself operating as if there were no freedom at all. Data from literature, history, and personal communication present manifold testimony not only to freedom, but to the ambiguity, the deliberation, the irrevocability, and even the terror of it. It has often been maintained that this universal experience of freedom provides the greatest proof for its own existence."
Phenomenological Analysis
of Reflection and Questioning
FREEDOM entails:
achieving a distance in reflection from blind necessity with respect to external stimuli, environment, values, immediate objects, and present needs.
achieving a distance from myself in self-reflection whereby I am able to see myself in relation to present needs, past experiences, and future rewards; and whereby I am able to question these relationships.
achieving a possession of myself in reflecting upon who I am and what my potentialities might be-self-possession.
being able to say something about myself-self-determination.

What is
Will is a tendency toward an
intellectually known good
What is free will?
the power or capacity to choose among alternatives or to act in certain situations
of natural,

social, or divine restraints.
theory that all choices are
completely determined
by previously existing causes
If the will tends toward the good all the time, does that mean
we never choose evil
"It is precisely in deliberation upon and selection of a particular good among many-in relation to our knowledge of who we are and what are potentialities are may be that moral failure occurs." -Kavanaugh
Britannica Encyclopedia
Britannica Encyclopedia
Full transcript