The Concept of Freedom in Philosophy


Freedom is one of the most discussed themes in philosophy and science. Apart from all influences from inside and outside himself, are humans free to live their lives? Is this freedom total, or partial? What is the explanation? These are questions that have invited many of the greatest minds in history to answer them. The issue of freedom also has a direct impact on human life. There are four important things to consider. The first is related to legal matters. When a criminal act is based on his freedom, then he deserves to be punished. Otherwise, the punishment becomes unreasonable and unjust.

The second is a matter of living together. Regulating free people is certainly different from regulating people who are not free. The choices are also quite broad, namely from modern democracy to totalitarianism that breathes religion. A democratic rule of law is based on the notion of freedom and human dignity. Without all this, democracy will not be possible.

The third is about human relations. Love or friendship is meaningless without freedom. Not only that, without freedom, human relations will tend to be manipulative. People will take advantage of each other according to the elements that affect them. Humans who become wolves for each other (Homo Homini Lupus), presumably that is what might happen.

The fourth is about the meaning of life itself. What kind of life should a man lead, if there is no freedom in it? We will only be determined completely for circumstances outside of ourselves, such as political, economic, ecological, and even emotional states. We become like slaves waiting to be picked up by death. The ability to create meaning in life presupposes freedom in it.

These four things make the issue of freedom very important to consider. Some of the important views of freedom in philosophy are that freedom is understood as freedom to choose. Humans can choose and determine the pattern of their own life. This would be different from other objects that only follow the laws of nature mechanically. Similar patterns are also found in animals and plants that mechanically follow their natural impulses.

Furthermore, freedom is understood as self-autonomy. This is widely formulated in the school of German Idealist philosophy. Autonomy is the ability to determine one's moral laws independently. The social environment and the biological environment certainly have an influence. However, the ultimate and final decision is within each individual.

The concept of freedom in philosophy is also the inspiration for the birth of modern science and technology. In front of nature, humans can not act arbitrarily. He must learn to understand and obey the laws of nature. Only then will he be able to take advantage of nature for his benefit. This way of thinking indeed gave birth to rapid technological developments but also became the root of the destruction of nature after the industrial revolution.

Philosophy comes to important conclusions regarding human freedom. It is seen as a human ability to make sense of his experiences. That is, what happens outside of him can not be fully regulated. Many elements determine. However, the meaning of all these events can be created by human free will. This is the meaning of freedom in philosophy, namely the freedom to interpret various events experienced by humans.

Another element of freedom is the freedom to say no. Humans can resist the situation. He can choose otherwise, rather than what is offered. This makes human actions unpredictable. So much uncertainty in it. This would be in line with findings in neuroscience research. The complexity of the neural network and the human brain makes human actions unpredictable. Relationships with other people in the social world make things even more complex. In neuroscience, freedom is also understood as a state, in which human actions can never be completely predicted. It is this uncertainty that gives birth to a spark of freedom and makes life very colorful.

With all this complexity, many possibilities could happen. Possibilities and uncertainties are born and can be seen as a form of human freedom. Perhaps, it is not as complete as the concept of freedom of philosophers in history. However, up to this stage, the concept of freedom as a complexity that gives birth to various possibilities and uncertainties in human life would be sufficient.

image source by

3 columns
2 columns
1 column
Join the conversion now