Presentation: The Many Faces of ‘Freedom’

 

The Many Faces of ‘Freedom’

At first blush, we might define ‘freedom’ in negative terms – as Thomas Hobbes did in 1651 – in terms of the absence of ‘constraints’.  But this is only a small first step, and leaves many questions unanswered:

What qualifies as a ‘constraint’?  Is the Law of Gravity a constraint?

Are we ever fully unconstrained?

If not, then which constraints curtail our freedom and which ones don’t?

Freedom means different things to different people.  Are constraints different too?

And how might we define ‘freedom’ in positive terms?

In this short talk, I retrace the evolution of the concept of ‘freedom’ since Hobbes; from Locke, Bentham & Hegel to J. S. Mill, Thomas Green & Charles Taylor.

About the speaker:

Tibor Molnar originally studied Chemical Engineering at UNSW, but then forged a career in IT and information science. He came to philosophy late in life - after his retirement in 2003 - and now teaches Philosophy of Science at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education and the WEA. With a particular interest in introducing philosophy to a wider audience, Tibor is an active member of three philosophy salons, and has addressed numerous Philosophy Cafe events. His primary areas of inquiry include ontology, epistemology, foundations of physics and theory of mind; and a book is on the way.

Please, remember that a voluntary gold coin donation will be asked at the beginning in order to support this group, though it is not compulsory, this will show your good will to continue promoting the activities of your group.Also, be aware that photographs, video and/or sound recording make take place during the presentation and that this content may be posted in our friendly and safe website of Meetup for our own enjoyment and friendly interaction.

Jess (founder)

 



 

 

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  • Alec

    I have a bell, and if people want it we can use it to remind every body about the time they have to make a comment or a question. Also, apart from those extra minutes that sometimes are so necessary for someone to finish his/her presentation. The bell can be used to let the presenter know about ten minutes, 5 minutes and to finish the presentation with one, two and three corresponding ringings of the bell. This could be extended if people are willing to grant that time extension to get all points covered.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Ian B.

    I was discourteous and I apologise. I meant to say that the talk overlooked the physics - most was on the "metaphysics" - the traditional philosophers, who had little to go on except "introspection" - looking inside ones own mind. Since then, science has revealed much about physics, causation, life, evolution, neuroscience, free will and the mind. This has shown metaphysics to be akin to flat earth theory - it can now be relegated to a historical footnote.
    I have a talk of my own which explains in detail what science has shown us about the mind. Freedom becomes a much simpler topic.

    July 4, 2013

  • Joffre

    The "curve balls" of Thomas More & Bradley Manning -- and Nelson Mandela whom Tibor cited -- were more faces of freedom, a freedom that springs from within to follow our calling regardless of any coercion by an external agent. Well done, Tibor! Our limits simply define the box from which we are challenged to think, grow & live outside. Peace & joy to all.

    July 4, 2013

  • Garry D.

    Love Ian Mansell's suggestion of a "Speakers Stick" - very democratic.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Alec

    Tibor delivered an awesome presentation. It kept me attentive from the first to the last second. You can ask for his slides or see them at http://www.slideshare.net/Jeslide/molnar-tg-the-many-faces-of-freedom
    Thanks Tibor.
    Kind regards
    Jes.

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • ian m.

    Agree with Garry's comment, the post preso discussion became a pain. Someone once said that corporate advertising is a bit like wetting your pants, a warm and happy feeling that no one else wants to know. Why don't you consider what we were doing at Diogenes Sinope: limit questions or comments to 4 minutes, unless extended by popular acclaim. In order to speak, you must be holding the Ancient Greek speaking wand.

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • Garry D.

    The speaker and the material were excellent. Regrettably, the discussion section was marred by one individual wanting to divert the discussion in order to flex his individual debating skills, at the expense of all others. Additionally the discussion period tended to deteriorate into several one-on-one hair-splitting contests between individuals. These were conducted 'sotte voce' and were thus inaudible to others at the back of the room.

    July 3, 2013

  • Sally

    Unfortunately, I've been delayed and can't attend but a fascinating topic.... next time

    July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is tat at bondi? I thought was city sydney

    July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is tat at bondi? I thought was city sydney

    July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry. Pressure of work keeps me away :-|

    July 2, 2013

  • Nelson

    Will not be able to make it, not keeping well.

    July 2, 2013

  • Jimmy H.

    "None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free." – Pearl S. Buck

    June 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry just checked diary & already busy

    June 24, 2013

  • Peter D M.

    Great Subject

    June 18, 2013

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