Perception of Liberty in Philosophy

The term “Freedom” is open to many interpretations which makes it an easy topic to debate on. Different philosophers from different regions have had their fair share at an attempt to explain it according to their perspectives. Here are a few philosophers and their thoughts on liberty:

Aristotle’s idea of freedom is quite interesting: He completely disagrees with the democratic idea of freedom. This is the idea that represents freedom as being able to do what you want to do in that exact moment and ignoring every limitation that might destroy that rapturous instant. In the case of Aristotle, that ideology is quite foolish, as your ideas of pleasure and moment are free to alter your state of mind to dominate you. The naturally free person is the one with reason: a man who is reasonable enough to think his way out of every situation by choosing the golden mean (the sweet spot between vices/extremes).  man with reasoning has the ability to escape from such idiocy into a rational world which he claims to be the “motherland” of freedom and liberty. Again, for Aristotle, natural slaves are considered people who couldn’t think of the right thing to do because of their lack of rationalism.

According to Nietzsche, mentioning’ liberalizing’ is more logical than mentioning’ freedom. Nietzsche would rather focus on earning that freedom, and the experiences you gain on the way to liberty. Nietzsche suggests that there are somethings that block one’s road to liberty. One of those things is herd mentality, which is associated with “the camel”. Nietzsche is known or his “classification of men” in which he categorizes people in 3 different sections: The camel, the lion and the child. For Nietzsche, having the audacity to be yourself and not get affected by the ones around you while making choices is what frees you and your state of mind.

For Plato, knowledge is the key to a man’s free will. Because according to Plato, freedom is a state of being: there is a some sort of a “trait” between your biased opinions, negative thoughts and fears and the real freedom. These elements control one’s life and dominate it in a way that makes it impossible for someone to liberalize. The more you learn about your irrational fears, the roots of your negative thoughts and the more you free yourself from strong opinions, the less effect they will have on your life. think about it: Let’s assume someone is afraid of the concept of death. His strong ideas and biases about death, his false perception of death and how he deals with the problem by avoiding the reality of death, he basically is letting this fear take over his free mind. But the more he learns about death and the more he researches he purifies his intellect to become free.

For the first representative of absurdism, Albert Camus, freedom has always been rebellion. Funny enough, the reason why he doesn’t like to depend on any strong political leanings is also his perception of freedom. He fled from his motherland, France, to Algeria when he learned that France was exploiting Algeria, because he condemned such acts of “idiocy”. He didn’t need the feel to hide any of his thoughts ever. This is why rebellion is a part of Camus’ perception of freedom.

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” -Albert Camus


“To be is to be.”

For Sartre, freedom is ontological, which means that it is the very being of consciousness, of the for-itself (pour-soi). He wanted us to acknowledge our freedom, to not be restricted by the popular definition of reality, and live life as we wished to live it. He invites everyone to a conscious. And despite people uncovering several flaws in the way he presented his ideals, his ideals themselves are certainly worth considering.

Personally, I do not think pure liberalization does exist, and if it does, I’m a hundred percent sure no one would actually want to be a part of such foolishness. The most liberal creatures that live with us on earth are stray dogs: they do not have any responsibilities, they can sleep anywhere and wake up anywhere, they can bark as loud as they can and they are not dependent on a owner to wrap a leash around their necks but at the end of the day, a house dog which has given up on his freedom will have food, a shelter, and a family to protect it. So committing to a free-will-life-style is not one of the wisest choice to make.

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