Berkeley Philosophy Reading Group Message Board › IDEA: What is true personal freedom?
Suggestion from David Shalen on May 14, 2010:
Rousseau famously opined that autonomy constituted true freedom, and rather than justice, the ultimate good could only be achieved by all individuals becoming autonomous. But in what sense can a specific guaranteed set of rights under a law or constitution ever serve either to guarantee, or even to define, such autonomy? Can freedoms from specific forms of control by others ever add up to autonomy by virtue of giving people the right to contract as they see fit? Or do they remain slaves to the information they happen to have, or not have? In other words, does our necessary dependence on the knowledge of others in almost everything we do render the concept of autonomy meaningless?
On a slightly different subject, can any political philosophy that does not deal with how children are raised and what forms of indoctrination of children are acceptable approach the real subject of human freedom?
On informational dependence, see Hilary Putnam "The Meaning of meaning".