2.) Individuality ( The need to fit in). Liberty was utilized as protection against political tyranny because rulers were endowed with the power to suppress the rights of would be aggressors. There was a limit on the power of the government in order to achieve liberty. This ensures that liberty is involved in implementing the safety of the community’s consent that would guard against an abuse of power.
Hegel goes a step further than De Beauvoir however, as he posits that freedom requires the taking of a risk, for he holds that, only when risked, can life be held as valuable. Hegel claims that to be free is to eliminate the other, thereby eliminating the possibility for dependence on this outside entity. De Beauvoir would likely disagree as she elucidates upon the idea that freedom requires cooperation and therefore finds itself bound within the social. De Beauvoir claims an interdependence as she believes “it is other men who open the future to me, it is they who, setting up the world of tomorrow, define my future” (p.86). This view contradicts Hegel’s belief that elimination of the other brings one freedom to a certain extent, yet it does appear to echo his view that, within the master-slave dialect, the master cannot truly claim freedom as the master must regard the slave’s life as valuable and meaningful for their acknowledgment of his freedom to be of any worth.
For example, the state in which we live creates laws that are binding on us. We obey the laws of the state because we have an interest in not going to prison, or not being executed, or not being ostracized. These external authorities can therefore only bind us in regard to hypothetical imperatives (i.e., if we want to avoid some punishment, we ought to follow the state’s laws). In contrast, in order for finite rational beings to do moral duties (necessarily in the form of categorical imperatives) because they are moral duties, the authority of the moral law must come from within, from our intrinsic nature. When we rationally will some end and consequently will the means to that end, we impli... ... middle of paper ... ...ill that their maxim for that action should become a universal law, and if it’s true that rational agents ought to always treat all other finite rational beings as n end in themselves and never merely as a means, then it must be true that rational agents, as ends in themselves, create the universal moral law.
Anyone or anything that is rational possesses will, whether it is a human being or a field mouse. Freedom is the property that this causality has. Thus, a free will can be defined as a will that can act causally without being caused by external sources. Any action not based on a form of law would be seen as groundless and unjustified and we then would not be able to say our actions were the result of our own will. Kant adds to this point by saying the laws we base our actions upon must be self-imposed.
It aims to defend the individual in society from corrupt establishments or states that have been influenced by their ego and private property, it also does not sacrifice an individual’s freedom, and instead civil and moral freedom are two of the main motives for Rousseau’s social contract. It reduces the power that the sovereign state has over people by establishing a direct democratic society based on the general will. However there are some concerns that arise with the general will, mainly the will of the people directed towards the common good can itself present a despotism of its own. This social contract theory promotes victimisation of minority groups to preserve the common good. Also what if an individual decides they do not want to live by the common interests of this new society?
The term “civil or social liberties” is one that garners a lot of attention and focus from both Rousseau and Mill, although they tackle the subject from slightly different angles. Rousseau believes that the fundamental problem facing people’s capacity to leave the state of nature and enter a society in which their liberty is protected is the ability to “find a form of association that defends and protects the person and goods of each associate with all the common force, and by means of which each one, uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before” (Rousseau 53). Man is forced to leave the state of nature because their resistance to the obstacles faced is beginning to fail (Rousseau 52). Mill does not delve as far back as Rousseau does and he begins his mission of finding a way to preserve people’s liberty in an organized society by looking to order of the ancient societies of Greece, Rome and England (Mill 5). These societies “consisted of a governing One, or a governing tribe or caste, who derived their authority from inheritance or conquest” (Mill 5).
It is based on this claim that he makes his argument that autonomy should be valued because it is the sole principle of our moral law. In On Liberty, Mill propounded that freedom was doing as one pleases, and unlike Kant promoted a personal account of autonomy wherein an individual is encouraged to decide for one’s self one what ever course of action they desired- often regardless of a particular moral. The good consequence of progress was the core reason that Mill felt that one should value this type of autonomy. To understand Kant’s account of freedom and autonomy one should have a general picture of his moral philosophy. A moral philosophy based so heavily on autonomy, that it if fair to establish that Kant’s morality and freedom reciprocally imply one another.
The power is held by those who are being ruled, and they have equal rights in deciding their political outcomes. Locke explains that “wherever law ends, tyranny begins”, so once the rights of the people are suppressed this injustice begins (Locke 102). Locke also explains that if a government was to act unjust, not with the best interest of the majority, then it is the right and the responsibility of the people to overthrow “tyranny” (Locke 102). The people, who have the power, should always defend their human rights, especially from unlawful rulers. This view of government shifts with Hobbes’ perspective.
Can the government force a citizen to be free? In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau declares that it is not only possible for the government to do so, but also necessary under certain conditions. In this fashion, Rousseau expects complete obedience to the laws of the body politic. Though this concept is aimed at promoting the democratic principle of equality, it bestows the will of the community with a troubling degree of precedence over individual wills. For this, I argue that Rousseau’s idea of forcing citizens to be free is a dangerous notion.
He establishes a society that can interfere with the government, demand freedom of individuals, and allow individuals free will to do what they choose, without interfering with the rights of others. This idea of free will and liberty leads to Mill’s harm principle. On Liberty is the founding document of the harm principle. The harm principle is defined in Mill’s introduction to On Liberty: That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.1 The harm principle states that all individuals have the free will to carry through any action they desire to make, as long as it does not hamper or effect the rights of others.