The course will study the concept of freedom not only as a philosophical, but also a social, political, and cultural concept that has played a major role in the history of western societies. It will study it as one of the most complex and contradictory concepts of European civilization, which has been the subject of myths and rational theories, politics and economics, poetry and everyday discourse; as a motive force that has been creative and destructive as well. Special attention will be paid to its role in established and emerging democracies.
This will be a kind of "background course" which will try to help students to better understand the complexities inherent in one of the basic values of our civilization; complexities with which they will have to cope every day both in their professional and personal lives.
The course can be nothing more than a modest introduction to the world of ideas and theories, conflicts and controversies, fears and hopes related to the concept of ''freedom". Even voracious reading would not allow students to cover the whole literature and the whole problematic of freedom in thirteen weeks. The purpose of the course is only to get students interested in the exploration of this area of human experience and to bring the discussion to points from where those interested in the subject can go on on their own.
Week 1 (September 20) Freedom in an Allien World
According to the basic hypothesis of this course, freedom is not something given and guaranteed. Mankind has had to struggle for, and protect, its freedom in an alien world from the very beginning of its history up to the present, at every moment of its existence. Myths and religions, philosophy and scientific thought, politics, social organization and culture have been all instruments, and spheres, of this striving for freedom. Man had to develop and protect his freedom in relation to Nature, Society, and his own inner Self.
- The "Alien World hypothesis"
- The alien world
- The three jungles
- Freedom and Nature
- Freedom and Society
- Freedom and the Self
- Struggle for freedom
Authors: Saint Augustine, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Vaihinger, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Teilhard de Chardin, Jung, Gilbert Durand, Carl Kerenyi, etc.
Literature: Sophocles: Oedipus; Antigone; Shakespeare: Hamlet; Romeo; King Lear; Beckett: Happy Days; O'Neill: Mourning Becomes Electra
* This is not a reading list. Authors and works are listed under each topic only in order to give an idea of the domain to be explored and the issues to be discussed.
Week 2. (September 27) Concepts of Freedom
A brief survey of the main concepts and hypotheses of freedom and the main controversial issues in connection with freedom.
- The main concepts
- The main hypotheses
- Classification of the concepts of freedom according to:
a) Freedom from what?
b) Freedom for what?
c) The sources of freedom
d) The types of freedom
e) The agents of freedom
- The problems to be solved
Authors: Nicolai Hartmann, Isaiah Berlin, Jacques Maritain, R. N. Anshen, Clark, David Miller, Robert A. Dewey, Mortimer, L. Adler, Orlando Patterson, etc.
Weeks 3-4.(October 4 and October 11) Freedom Through Myths and Religion
An analysis of how various myths, religions and religious thinkers tried to create, and protect, Man's freedom.
- The earliest myths
- Greek mythology
- The Old Testament
St. Augustine, Joachim de Fiore, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin, Pascal, Schelling, Ricoeur, Tillich, Gabriel, Marcel,
Further authors and references:
Descartes, Bossuet, Rahner, Barth, Ott, Maritain, Niebuhr, Gilbert Durand, Karl Jung, Mircea Eliade, Joseph Campbell, Jane Harrison, Karl Kerenyi, E.E. Evans-Pritchard
Weeks 5-7: (October 18, 25 and November 1) Freedom and History. The role of history in generating and destroying human freedom.
- "Historical necessity" and historicism
- History as a source of freedom
- Freedom and the motive forces of history
- Escape into history. "Horizontal transcendence" and eschatology
- Escape from history
- The struggle for meaning in history: Hegel, Marx <---->Niebuhr, Popper
- Freedom and the theories of progress:
Joachim, Kant, Hegel, Jaspers, Tillich, Teilhard de Chardin
- Freedom and the theories of decline:
Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, Camus
- Freedom and theories of circularity and eternal return:
Saint Augustine, Rousseau, Niebuhr, Hayek
Democritos, Epicuros, Lucretius, Bacon, Condorcet, Locke, Fichte, Schelling, Comte, Spencer, Darwin, Bergson, 20th century evolutionism; Herodotos, Ovidius, Daniel the Prophet, Polybios, Ibu Khaldun, Bodin, Montesquieu, Vico, Sorokin, Paul Costello, Karl Lowith, Robert Nisbet, Frank E. Manuel.
Week 8: (November 8) Freedom, Sin and the Feeling of Guilt
Man has to achieve his freedom not only against, and in, Nature and Society, but also against, and in harmony of, the powerful forces of his inner world. Among the many aspects of this struggle, the course will focus on the question of sin and the feeling of guilt.
- The origins of Evil
- Cosmogonies: myth, religion and science: Ricoeur
- Guilt and freedom in psychoanalysis: Freud, Marcuse, Reik
- Guilt and freedom in social psychology: Fromm
- The politics of guilt
- The communist regimes in East Central Europe, 1948-1989
Further authors and references:
St. Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Pascal, Nietzsche, Barth, Ott, Tillich, Freud, Fromm, Marcuse, Mitscherlich, Niehbuhr, Reik, etc.
Week 9. (November 15) Freedom, Existence and Action
The study of a twentieth century attempt to generate freedom in an "alien world".
- Freedom as action
- Freedom as change
- Freedom as self-creation
- Freedom and Being
- Freedom and authentic existence.
Heidegger, Sartre, Marcel
Aristotle, Philo, Augustine, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Calvin, Pascal, James, Nietzsche, Bergson, Dewey, Jaspers, Bergson, Hartmann, Maritain, etc.
Week 10 (November 22) Freedom and Society
An analysis of how freedom is being generated, and destroyed, in social interactions.
- Freedom within and outside society
- The dilemma of Adam and Eve
- Is the child more, or less, free than the adult?
- Freedom and law: is the law a bondage or a source of freedom
- Freedom and morality: Socrates, Spinoza, Rant
- The social contract: Hobbes, Rousseau, Rawls
- The libertarian versus communitarian controversy
Further authors and references:
Seneca, Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Tocqueville, Mill, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, Popper, Habermas, Tillich, Berlin, Habermas, Nozick, Macpherson, MacIntyre, Taylor, Dahrendorf, etc. Offe, Hartmann, Siewerth, F.R. Berger, Carol C. Gould, C.B. Macpherson
Week 11 (November 29) Freedom and Politics
An analysis of how freedom is being generated, and destroyed, by political institutions and practice.
- Freedom and power
- Freedom and the sources of power
- Power and freedom in electoral strategies
- Power and freedom strategies in the velvet revolutions of 1989
- Freedom and political ideologies
- Social democracy
- State socialism
- Freedom in authoritarian societies
- Liberties and privileges
- The paradigm of the prisoner
- The "ironical freedom" of East Europeans
- 1989 and after: The shock of freedom
- Freedom and democracy
Further authors and references:
Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Bodin, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Mill,Tocqueville, Spencer, Weber, Durkheim, Popper, Hayek, Berlin, Huntingtom, Dahl, Aron, Foucault, Nozick, Macpherson, MacIntyre, Taylor, Dahrendorf, Havel; political science literature on the subject
Week 12-13 (December 6 and 13) The Social Generation of Freedom
There are hundreds of "techniques" and "games" of freedom in culture, the arts and everyday life which have the role of generating freedom for man.
- Literarary forms: "Oscillation"
- Music: in an alien world
- Beauty and freedom
Authors and references:
Freud, Huyzinga, Fechner, Santayana, Lipps, Dewey, Richards, Caudwell, Gilbert Durand, Suzanne Langer, Maud Bodkin, etc.
Relevant titles: Cultural anthropology; Theory, psychology and sociology of literature and art; Theory of games; Theory of everyday life, ethnomethodology, etc.
There will be a Midterm and a Final Examination.
Midterm: Two short in-class essays (four to six handwritten pages each) on two topics out of three topics given Date: November 1
Final:Three in-class essays (five to eight pages each) on three topics out of five topics given
The date will be determined by the Registrar's Office
Students are supposed to read 50 to 100 pages a week. The texts of the required readinqs are included in a READER available in the Department's Office. Most of the required readings are available in the libraries of Budapest.
This is a list of some of those texts that participants may read or consult for the general discussions and for their essays. It is not a comprehensive bibliography and not even a list of the "most important 200 texts" on the problem of freedom. Its function is only to show you the wide range of topics discussed in this context and to help you make the first steps in exploring this field of human knowledge. You will be expected to keep record of your readings and make use of them both at discussions and in your essays.
-The alien World Hypothesis:
*Vaihinger Hans: The Philosophy of 'As If'. A System of the Theoretical, Practical and Religious Fictions of Mankind. 2nd ed. London: Kegan Paul, 1935. Pp. 16-32, 144-156, 341-362.
*Kaplan, Robert D: The Coming Anarchy. The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 273, No. 2, February 1994, pp. 44-76.
-Concepts of Freedom
Adler, Mortimer J.: The Idea of Freedom. Vols. 1-2. Garden City:, Doubleday, 1958. Vol. 1. Book III, Pp. 171-201, 250-280, 400
Maritain, Jacques: Freedom in the Modern World. New York, 1935
Berlin, Isaiah: Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: OUP, 1969.
Hartmann, Nicolai- Ethics. New York: Macmillan 1962. Part III.
Patterson, Orlando: Freedom. Vol. 1. Freedom in the Making of Western Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1991.
Bhaskar, Roy: Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom. Oxford: Blackwell 1991
Clark, Mary T.: The Problem of Freedom. New York: Appleton, 1973
Anshen, Ruth Nanda, ed.: Freedom, Its Meaning. New York, 1940.
Miller, David, ed.: Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Dewey, Robert E, and James A. Gould: Freedom; Its History, Nature, and Varieties. New York: Macmillan, 1970.
Garaudy, Roger: Liberte comme categorie philosophique et historique. Paris 195.
-Freedom through Myths and Religion
Eliade, Mircea: The History of Religious Ideas. Vol. 1-3. Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1978. Vol. 1. Pp. 162186, 247-263.
Sproul, Barbara C.: Primal Myths. Creating the World. San Francisco: Harper 1979. Pp. 1-30, 135-151.
Durkheim, Emile: The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. New York: The Free Press, 1915. 462-496.
Jung, Karl: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Collected Works, Bollingen series 20, New York: Pantheon Books, 1959, Vol. 9/1, pp. 87-110.
Evans-Pritchard, E. E.: Theories of Primitive Religion. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965. Pp. 100-128.
Campbell, Joseph: The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1948.
McGinty, Park: Interpretation and Dionysos. Bethlehem, Penns.: Lehigh University, 1978. pp. 9-33.
Ricoeur, Paul: The Symbolism of Evil. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967. Pp. 232-305
-Freedom and History
*Hegel, G.W.F.: The Philosophy of History. "Introduction." Tr. by J. Sibree, New York: Wiley, 1944, pp. 1-79.
*Camus, Albert: The Rebel. New York: Knopf, 1971. Chapters I, II, III, V~ pp. 1-35, 55-80, 133-148, 177-187, (188-245), 279-306.
*Eliade, Mircea: The Myth of the Eternal Return. New York: Pantheon, 1954. Pp. 141-162.
*Costello, Paul: World Historians and Their Goals. Northern Illinois Press 1993. Pp. 3-22, 213-227.
*Tillich, Paul: Systematic Theology. Vols. 103, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1951-1963. Vol. III. Pp. 348-361.
Popper, Karl R.: The Open Society and Its Ennemies. London: Routledge, 1945. Vol. 1. Ch. 10 and Vol. 2, Ch. 25. Pp. 246-267. ("Conclusion. Has History a Meaning?")
Toynbee, Arnold J.: A Study of History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954. Pp. 338-405.
Lowith, Karl: Meaning in History. Chicago: Chicago Unuiversity Press, 1949. Pp. 1-19, -191-203.
Manuel, Frank E.: Shapes of Philosophical History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1965. See esp. 136-161.
Marcus, John T.: Heaven, Hell and History. A Survey of Man's Faith in History from Antiquity to the Present. New York: Macmillan, 1967.
Nisbet, Robert: History of the Idea of Progress. New York: Basic Books, 1980. Pp. 179-236.
Jaspers, Karl: The Origin and Goal of History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953, pp. 231-276.
Niebuhr, Reinhold: The Nature and Destiny of Man. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1953. X. The End of History. pp. 287-321.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre: The Problem of Man. New York: Harper, 1959. Pp. 299-311.
-Freedom, Sin and the Feeling of Guilt
*Freud, Sigmund: Civilization and Its Discontents. 1930. Pp. 59-148 in The Standard Edition by James Strachey. London: Hogarth Press, 1961. Read especially: 86-133.
*Niebuhr, Reinhold: The Nature and Destiny of Man. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1953. VII. Man as Sinner; VIII. Man as Sinner; IX. Original Sin and Man's Responsibility, pp. 241264.
*Russell, Jeffrey Burton: Satan and Saint Augustine. Pp. 186-218 in J.B.R.: Satan. The Early Christian Tradition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1981.
Fromm, Erich: Escape from Freedom. New York: Avon Books 1965  Chapter III/1-2. Pp. 56-122.
Gay, Peter: "Freud and Freedom", pp. 41-59 in Alan Ryan, ed.: The Idea of Freedom. Essays in Honour of Isaiah Berlin. Oxford: Oxford University Press,, 1979.
Reik, Theodor: Myth and Guilt. New York: Braziller, 1957.
Adler, Alfred: The Individual Psychology of A.A. Ed. by H.L. and R.R. Ansbacher. New York: Basic Books, 1956., pp. 1-20, 76-125, 172-203.
Jung, Karl: "The Concept of the Collective Unconscious; and: The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious." In: The Portable Jung. Ed. By Jospeh Campbell. New York: Viking 1971. Chapters 4-5, pp. 59-138.
Tillich, Paul: Systematic Theology. Vols 1-3. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1951-1963. Vol. 3. The Self-actualization of life and its Ambiguities. Pp. 30-110, 245-275.
Ricoeur, Paul: The Symbolism of Evil. Boston: Beacon, 1987 [French original 1960]. Pp. 161-357. See esp. 232-305.
Ricoeur, Paul: The Fallbible Man. Philosophy of the Will. New York: Fordham University Press, 1986. Pp. 133-146.
Schrag, Calvin O.: Conscience and Guilt. Pp. 154-174 in C.O. Sch. Existence and Freedom. Chicago: Northwestern 1961.
Caroll, John: Guilt. The Grey Eminence Behind Character, History and Culture. London: Routledge, 1985. Pp. 1-5, 217-247.
Morano, Donald V.: Existential Guilt. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1973. Pp. 1-20, 65-73.
Jaspers, Karl: Die Schuldfrage. Zürich: Artemis 1946.
Greene, William Chase: Moira: Fate, Good and Evil in Greek Thought. Cambrdige, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1944.
-Freedom, Existence and Action
*Sartre, Jean-Paul: Of Human Freedom. New York: Philosophical Library, 1966, pp. 32-98.
Tillich, Paul: Systematic Theology. Vols 1-3. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1951-1963. Vol. 2. Existence and the Quest for the Christ. [Christian Existentialism] Pp. 19-96.
Schrag, Calvin O.: Existence and Freedom. Towards an Ontology of Human Finitude.Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1961, pp. 175-206.
Nietzsche, Friedrich: The Will to Power. New York: Vintage Books, 1968, pp. 5-82.
Dewey, John: Human Nature and Conduct. New York: Carlton, 1922. Pp. 278-298.
Bergson, Henri: Creative Evolution. Lanham, MD.: University Press of America, 1984 
Sartre, Jean Paul: Existentialims. An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology. New York: Philosophical Library. 1947.
Heidegger [Martin]: A critical Reader. Ed. By Hubert Dreyfus and Harrison Hall. London: Blackwell, 1992.
[Heidegger:] Figal, Guenter: Martin Heidegger: Phaenomenologie der Freiheit. Frankfurt am Main: Athenaeum, 1988.
Maritain, Jacques: Existence and the Existent. New York: Random House, 1948. Chapter V. `pp. 85-122.
Marcel, Gabriel: The Existential Background of Human Destiny. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963.
Barth, Karl: "The Being of God in Freedom." Pp. 279-321 in Karl Barth: Church Dogmatics. Vol. II. The Doctrine of God. First Half-Volume. Edinburgh: Clark, 1957.
Patocka, Jan: Philosophy and Selected Writings. Ed. by Erazim Kohak. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989. Esp. pp. 2831, 102-105, 112-115, 126-135, 190-205
Ibsen: The Wild Duck
Beckett: Happy Days
O'Neill: The Iceman Cometh
-Freedom and Society - Freeedom and Politics
Hayek, Friedrich: "The Three Sources of Human Values". Pp. 153-176 in Fr. H.: Law, Legislation, and Liberty. Chicago: Chicago University Press, .....
Gould, Carol C.: Rethinking Democracy. Freedom and social Cooperation in Politics, Economy, and Society. Cambridge: CUP, 1988, pp. 31-90.
Rousseau, J-J.: Social Contract. Book I. Chapters 1-8. Book II. Chapters 1-4 Book IV. Chapter 1-2.
Berlin, Isaiah: Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 118-172.
Patterson, Orlando: Freedom. Vol. 1. Freedom in the Making of Western Culture. New York: Basic, 1991. Pp. pp. 1-5, 203257.
Popper, Karl: The Open Society and Its Enemies. London: Routledge, 1945, Vol. I. Ch. 10. Pp. 149-177.
Foucault, Michel: "What is Enlightenment?|" Pp. 32-50 in Paul Rabimow, ed.: The Foucault Reader, New York: Pantheon, 1984.
Stephen Holmes: "The Permanent Structure of Antiliberal Thought.", pp. 227-253 in Nancy L. Rosenbaum: Liberalism and the Moral Life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989. X
Locke, John: An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government. London: Blackwell, 1948. Chapters IV-XV, Pp. 13-87. [In Library]
Mill, John Stuart: On Liberty. [London, 1859] [In Library] Pp. 65-174 in J.S.M.: Utilitarianism. Liberty. Representative Government. London: Dent 1910. Esp. Chapters III and ,IV, pp. 114-149.
Dewey, John: Human Nature and Conduct. New York: Carlton House, 1922.Part 4, pp. 278-332. [In Library]
Russell, Bertrand: Freedom and Government, pp. 249-264 in Anshen, 1940. [In Library]
Bidney, David: The Concept of Freedom in Anthropology. The Hague, Mouton 1963. [In Library]
-The Social Generation of Freedom
*Huizinga, J.: Homo Ludens. A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. New York: Roy, 1950 , pp. 1-27 [173-194].
*Rahner, Hugo: Man At Play. Freiburg: Herder, pp. 11-45.
*Freud, Sigmund: Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious. The Basic Writings of S. F. Ed. by A.A. Brill. New York: Modern Library, 1938, pp. 711-727, 745-761, 802-803.
Crew, B. Keith: "Acting Like Cops: The Social Reality of Crime and Law on TV Police Dramas". Pp. 131-143 in Clinton R. Sanders, ed.: Marginal Conventions: Popular Culture, Mass Media and Social Deviance. Bowling Green, Ohio: State University Press, 1990.
Bodkin, Maud: Archetypal Patterns in Poetry. London: Oxford University Press, 1934, pp. 26-89.
Groos, Karl: The Play of Man. New York: Arno Press, 1976 
Caillois, Roger: Man, Play, and Games. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1961 
Kallen, Horace M.: Liberty, Laughter and Tears. Northern Illinois University Press, 1965, pp. 61-85.
Miller, David L: Gods and Games Toward a Theology of Play. NewYork: The World Publishing Company, 1970
Ellis, M.J.: Why People Play. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall,
Bergson: Le rire. Paris, .
Swabey, M.C.: Comic Laughter, 1961.
Gurewitch, Morton: Comedy. The Irrational Vision. Ithaca,, N.Y.: Cornell UP, 1975.
Chapman, A.I. and H.C. Foot, eds.: Humour and Laughter. 1976.
Keats: Ode to a Grecian Urn
O'Neill: Long Day's Journey Into Night
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