Monday, November 03, 2008
Freedom to act
When am I free? I mean, when am I free to act, not only here and now but fundamentally? Let us say that I want to take the train to Utrecht but I do not have the money for it and I know that I’ll be stopped if I want to go into the train without a ticket. Does this mean that I am fundamentally not free to act? For everybody has wishes that he or she cannot realise. Must we say then that nobody is fundamentally free to act?On the other hand, let us suppose that I can do everything I want to do. Does that mean that I am fundamentally free to act? Isn’t it so that I am steered then by my wants? I mean, I want to do something and I can do it. Nobody will stop me. But what determines what I want to do and what determines the choice between wants that cannot be realised at the same time? Isn’t it so that having to choose involves limits of freedom? So, either I am limited because I have no choice but I simply follow the want that pop ups in me for some reason, or I am limited because I have to choose and can follow only some wants. Or is the freedom in the choice, even if this choice is limited? However, can a person be fundamentally free?