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Freedom

Freedom is the right, or the capacity, of self-determination, as an expression of the individual free will.

Traditionally philosophers have distinguished two senses of the word "freedom". The most common use is "negative" and is defined as the absence of constraint. Thus for Hobbes, one is free when the law is silent on a subject. But "freedom" is also used in another "positive" sense, where freedom is defined as the ability to transcend the social and cultural restraints which limit the potential of the individual for self-actualization. This latter sense is common to the romantic and individualistic philosophy of 19th century Germany.

Another common distinction made between kinds of freedom is the difference between "freedom from" social and political ills (which is really more accurately described as safety or security), and "freedom to" do what one wants (for which the term "liberty" is more precise).
In Anglo-American legal thought, there is a need connection between "freedom" and human rights in that freedom is often defined in terms of lack of government interference. This view of freedom has been criticized by many, including Marxists, for ignoring the social conditions and disabilities that a person may be subject to.


In jurisprudence, freedom is the right of autonomously determining one's own actions; generally it is granted in those fields in which the subject has no obligations to fulfil or laws to obey, according to the interpretation that the hypothetical natural unlimited freedom is limited by the law for some matters.


Freedom is also the name of a British Anarchist newspaper founded in 1886 and still published regularly by Freedom Press. See Freedom anarchist fortnightly.


Freedom is also a town in New York.


Freedom is also the name of a Space station first authorized in 1987. President Ronald Reagan gave it the name Freedom in 1988. Freedom, Mir-2, and the European and Japanese modules were incorporated into a single International Space Station in November 1993.
Go to http://www.astronautix.com/craft/spaeedom.htm for more details.

See Freedom anarchist fortnightly.


See also: free, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and free software.



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