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On the History of the Notion of Freedom

Lino Veljak orcid id ; Zagorska 22, HR–10000 Zagreb

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 297 Kb

str. 5-18

preuzimanja: 462


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 297 Kb

str. 18-18

preuzimanja: 114



The notion of freedom (gk. eleuthería, lat. libertas) was in ancient philosophy formed in the sense of the privileges belonging to adult free citizens, and thus foreigners, minors, women, and slaves were deprived of the possibility of freedom. This definition of freedom was also adopted by Roman law, unlike Stoic philosophy and the New Testament Christianity, where freedom was extended to belong to all human beings. In comparison, the Stoics (at least partially) condemn slavery, while Christianity eschatologises freedom (all people are free as God’s children, but this does not imply the abolition of slavery in this world). The Middle Ages built on such a concept of freedom. Still, in that period the secular concept of freedom was formulated, which especially comes to the fore in the Magna charta libertatum. The modern concept of freedom was shaped in the Modern Age, from Locke’s definition of life, freedom, and property as inalienable civil rights, through Voltaire’s request for the freedom of thought and Rousseau’s identification of freedom with the essence of human being, to Kant’s understanding of freedom that is possible only through the mind. The ideals of French Revolution, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (liberté, égalité, fraternité), are concretised in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (and Marx points at the limits of freedom established by this declaration). John Stuart Mill formulated the classical liberal concept of freedom. Today freedom is discussed, on the one hand, at the level of questions about individual freedom (for example, according to Sartre and Camus, the human being is necessarily free, while according to some representatives of sociobiology and researchers in the field of neurobiology, the human being is essentially genetically determined), and on the other hand, at the level of the problematisation of social presumptions regarding the freedom of human being (where the question of whether private property is the condition of the possibility of freedom or an obstacle to real freedom lies at the centre of discussion).

Ključne riječi

freedom, eschatology, secularity, civil rights, human rights, mind, equality, fraternity, liberality, ownership

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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