Concepts / Freedom

Like many concepts here, freedom is not as simple to define as it first might seem. While it may be possessed or felt individually, it is a social construct. Having the ability or possessing the power and resources to fulfill one’s purpose is necessarily related to others’ freedoms because we are social animals in complex networks.

Isaiah Berlin identified negative and positive freedoms — freedom from and freedom to respectively. Clearly Alice cannot have the freedom to impinge on Bob simultaneously with Bob having freedom from Alice’s actions.

Celebrating the freedom to publish any content in a social network for example must be balanced with the freedom to enjoy social networking without seeing illegal or deeply offensive material.

Arguably, all freedoms are contingent on freedom of mind. What for example would be the value of freedom of speech without freedom of mind?


Back to top