Does the idea of free will require being able to choose what we will to do or to be? Is freedom nothing more than the absence of external obstacles to what we desire to do? Is freedom compatible with subjection to legal and political constraints? And can such constraints on our actions be justified in the name of freedom itself? These questions show how many-sided and complex the idea of freedom is.
This module aims to help students understand this idea and engage with such questions by means of a discussion and critical assessment of central debates on freedom in modern philosophy in the areas of political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of mind and metaphysics. It will involve a close study of a selection of key texts. The module also aims to foster an understanding of the interrelations between problems relating to freedom as they are treated in these areas of philosophy and across different historical periods.