What Is Freedom? How Can We Define It? Essay

1853 Words Dec 8th, 2016 8 Pages
What is freedom? How can we define it? Five authors: Patel, Plato, Mill, Marx and Le Guin write on topics such as this. Through analysis of their work freedom is better defined, and therefore challenged by what society has shown us over centuries. Three increasingly thought provoking questions on freedom remain: is freedom the ability to do whatever one wants? Do certain qualities, lifestyles, morals or even physical characteristics determine who is free? And finally, how do we progress in the name of freedom through society and its members? Patel, Plato, Mill, Marx and Le Guin offer insight, and possible solutions to such pressing questions. Mill stated that his book On Liberty is “about the importance, to man and society, of a large variety in types of character, and giving full freedom to human nature to expand itself in innumerable and conflicting directions.” This statement seems to say that a successful society is one which allows all to be who they are restrained by no boundaries. Mill says that this is the path to success, yet it seems to have a major flaw. What if someone’s true self is to harm others? Do they still deserve the same amount of freedom as the next person? In the quote above Mill seems to say yes, but when we look deeper in his writings we can see that this huge amount of freedom only comes about with responsibility. “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to…

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