POL320Y1 Lecture Notes - Individualism, Political Philosophy, Civil Society

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14 Apr 2012
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POL320- Lecture Jan. 9, 2012
Freedom (discussion)
Freedom ought to be related somehow to reason
Tension between freedom that comes from satisfaction of desire and freedom that comes from
reflection
Hegel big believer in reason, freedom and reflection
Freedom is not free- that can refer to the need for military defence- and used towards finances-
we live in a capitalist economy
Dependant on if we have the money to do something- travel etc.
Freedom is shaped and channelled by this- think of this another wayyou have some choice, a
wide variety of choices are open to you to how you satisfy your desires
Capitalist society makes people feel unfree constrained by money cant pursue goals or desires
because don’t have enough money to do so and survive
Restraint on freedoms
Things that you have-property- can be a vehicle for your freedom
Hegel talks about relationship between property and freedom- private property is a vehicle of
freedom for him
We have a capacity for critical reflection- to stand back from what we desire and think about
whether we really desire it or not or if we should give into it or not
Contrast between the world in which we live and other societies
The question of how it determines what it is you will do in your life
In most of history what sort of work you did was determined by what you were born into
Not knowing what we will do in life suggests freedom- that we have a choice- no one is telling
you what to do
Freedom that come from not being committed to other and freedom that comes from being
committed
Hegel
Book about the modern state- he thinks the central principal of the modern state is human
freedom
He’s trying to interpret the implications of the institutions that we have in a modern state and
the way in which they construct us as human beings and teach us how to think- they shape our
minds and relationships
We are free in a modern state because of the way institutions treat us as free
We are free because of the way we think of ourselves we think of ourselves as free
Hegel thinks it’s no good to think of being free when the institutions don’t treat you as free
Institutions shape human consciousness- the ways in which the presuppose a certain conception
of human life
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