Chapter

Freedom and Understanding

Marcia Cavell

in Becoming a Subject

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287086
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603921 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199287082.003.0009
 Freedom and Understanding

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This chapter argues that there are no good facts of a general or metaphysical nature that can establish that freedom is an empty concept. Psychoanalysis does not show that free will is an illusion, but that the peculiarly human capacity for choice is constrained by phenomena that are equally peculiar as symbol-using creatures. Psychological defences sometimes operate as givens that are, in the moment, beyond our will, governing how we choose and who we are.

Keywords: freedom; reason; cause; forgiveness; choice

Chapter.  6656 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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