Freedom. Wars have been fought in its name. It’s been the emblem for youth movements and spiritual awakenings. People have been more reluctant to give up their freedom than to give up their lives.
But what is freedom? And why do people value it so highly?
This course examines the concept of freedom in some of the many forms it takes. We’ll look at free will, political liberty, existential freedom, individual autonomy, and spiritual liberation, among other things. We’ll consider the relative merits of these ideals and ask what they have in common that makes this same word, “freedom,” come up in such different contexts.
This course is designed to be accessible to people with no prior training in philosophy. Some of the texts are difficult, and university-level English reading skills are an asset. But video lectures and reading guides are designed to make these texts accessible.