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PHL 342 Dimensions of Freedom (3 credits)

Political philosopher Hannah Arendt claims that the ability to forgive and the ability to make and keep promises are at the center of human freedom, the capacity to interrupt automatic processes and begin something new. The experience of imprisonment will be an important focus of class discussion, and a starting point to examine multiple dimensions of human freedom. These include: negative vs. positive freedom; freedom of action vs. inner freedom (thought, imagination, will); political freedom vs. political oppression; the extent to which freedom in any of these senses is a good, worthy of the value we tend to give it. For each dimension, we will also ask what inner and/or external conditions limit or even preclude its exercise.