Politics

ISSUE OF CONSTRAINT AND AUTONOMY

Freedom is construe as the absence of any constraint which is either imposed by the state or by other individual or citizens in the society. Freedom or liberty like other concepts is an essentially contested concept and the definition of it by anyone will depend on his/her ideological persuasion, but if we want to give a sort of logical structure of the concept, we say A is free to do B in other to be free from C. in this analysis, ‘freedom to’ (positive) is not complete without ‘freedom from’ (negative). If we have freedom to education e.g. we are free from ignorance. In other words, the two basic logical structure of freedom are equivalent to each other.

For most people, we have freedom insofar as we don’t have any constraint that is imposed on us either by the state, one is free to the extent that there are no limitations to what we can do. This form of freedom is what we have as right and this right is to a large extent not limited insofar as it does not conflict with the right of others.

One is free from (negative) certain restrains which could be externally or internally as the case may be, or obstacle (law or social circumstance) which obstruct or impede freedom. Positive freedom (freedom to) on the other hand means being free to do something. But this can be criticize that both negative and positive freedom is something and as free to do something.

Thinking about freedom in number of ways suggest that the question “are we free?” is meaningless unless it is clearly specified in what we are free from and what we are free to do. We may be free from one obstacle like physical assault but we are not free from others, such as laws which specify that we cannot assault other fellow citizens. This clarifies how people disagree about freedom. Mostly, the disagreement turns over what should count as an obstacle to freedom. For instance, while some would take legal obstacles, others would take material deprivation as the cause of unfreedom.

Freedom to can be viewed as concerning with, or refers to autonomy or self-mastery; it is concerned with the question, what or who is the source of control or interference that obstacles are placed on the individuals which make the realization of his/her freedom impossible. This freedom consists not merely in being left but in having the effect power to act, shifting attention towards the opportunity available to each human individual.

115 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *