Freedom In On The Social Contract By Jean Jacques Rousseau

Freedom is the ability to behave, talk or think as one desires without obstruction or constraint. Nevertheless, freedom is naturally restricted by laws that secure our public safety. Some talk about freedom in a political sense, some talk about social freedom, some about personal independence and some define it as religious freedom. But the fact that everyone wants to be free, holds true in all cases. Rousseau believes people are essentially free because they only follow the orders of a power that is legitimate. Any power that is not legitimate will have no hold or control over man. We are at our most free in the state of nature. On the other hand, Kant believes we are free if we are moral, seeing that freedom and morality go together. For …show more content…
With this famous expression, Rousseau asserts that modern states repress the physical freedom that is our birthright and do very little to secure our civil freedom. It should be stated that there’s a difference between natural and civil liberty: natural liberty is the freedom to pursue one’s own desires whereas civil liberty is the freedom to pursue the general will. In Rousseau’s Social Contract, the general will is an important concept and it is defined as the will of the people as a whole. It cannot be transmitted and it is always right. To put the general will in context, human beings would act according to the general will if we were not depraved by society. In Chapter II, Of the First Societies, he explains his famous phrase by using the institution of family as the oldest and the only natural one: “As soon as the need ceases, the natural bond is dissolved. Once the children are freed from the obedience they owed the father and their father is freed from the care he owed his children, all return equally to independence. If they continue to remain united, this is no longer takes place naturally but voluntarily, and the family maintains itself only by means of convention” (Rousseau 18). The institution of family, therefore, is the template for liberty and freedom. The father is the representation of the leader and the children are the image …show more content…
For a moral law to be valid and obligating, it must carry “absolute necessity.” Two important concepts to keep in mind that are central to Kant’s moral philosophy are good will and duty. Good will is a good without qualifications and a duty is the necessity of an action done out of respect for the moral law. The concept of morality is particularly important in relation to Kant’s views on liberty and freedom. Kant believes we can be free if we follow the moral law. He also reckons we need freedom to create an enlightened society and achieve happiness. However, how difficult is it to uphold the moral law? To answer this question from a Kantian point of view, any action performed must be done from a duty to the highest moral law in order to have any moral worth. What determines whether an action has moral worth or not is the maxim. Freedom ends when your choices begin to affect other people and morality is universal. We can’t disregard the freedom of one person to help one or many others. For instance, it would be wrong to kill one healthy individual to distribute her organs to several sick people, even if doing so would save lives. To explain better the concept of freedom under Kantian rule, I must describe the categorical imperative as well. First and foremost, an imperative is the formula of of the command of practical reason and it is expressed in two ways: hypothetically or categorically. A hypothetical imperative is the

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