What do you think?

“How can you know for sure that you’re free?  You do, or say something, and, if nobody punishes or muzzles you, you are free to that extent.” – Peter Schjeldahl

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “What do you think?

  1. Ax Woo

    deja vu with this and 1984

  2. Ashutosh Nanda

    I think that one really does not know how far one can go in most social interactions. The law tries to clarify this boundary, but then again, one can not be sure of the exact interpretations of the law until one knows the judge in front of which one will be judged. One can truly never know how free one is unless one tests the bounds of the law and comes away without breaking the law.

    • mrklein

      You seem to assume that law is infallible. But, our judicial system calls for interpretation precisely because law, written by men, is fallible. The quotation here asks, in an unqualified way, to what degree can we assert freedom? It proposes that we can only know freedom through a positivist, logical empiricism, i. e. give it a shot, and see how hemmed in you really are.

      • Ashutosh Nanda

        The law may be flawed, but one can only know whether one will be punished by the law if one tries something on the edge of the law. The idea of logical empiricism makes sense here because no one truly knows whether the law will punish one even if it is stated unambiguously.

  3. Liam Lewter

    I dunno. If we are following external rules, then sure, that would be the definition of freedom, but I don’t like the idea that the end result of the action defines it, which is what he is pretty much basing his argument on.

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