Question B

Freedom and Self. Define freedom in your own terms, specifically outlining those aspects of yourself that you consider the basis of your own conception of “acting freely.”

An idea we were left with from the textbook is that people are so largely influenced by both nature and nurture that it is difficult to make any sort of decision which has not already been affected by both internal and external influences; our “self identities” are not a creation of own but largely the product of biology and relationships. But, choosing to “act freely” implies that we are choosing freely, without influences affecting our choices.

Think back to our discussion of the “essential self” in Week 4 as you address the following questions. To what extent does your conception of “acting freely” include playing roles and interacting with other people? To what extent do other people limit your freedom? How can your “essential self” be free choose to “act freely” while living in a world in which you are bound by obligations to various kinds of other people? Under which conditions would you be confident to declare that you had freely chosen a “free act”?