The Freedom of the Artist
In the last two posts, we explored two ways of thinking about freedom that I have argued are ultimately inadequate. In this post, I will articulate a third option that I believe preserves the best intuitions in these two models while avoiding their inadequacies. This third option conceives of freedom on analogy with an artist's act of creation.
The Freedom of the Übermensch
Echoing the sentiments of some sophists contemporary with Socrates, Nietzsche articulates a thoroughly constructivist (and therefore dismissive) account of conventional values. We have the capacity, by our own acts of esteeming not simply to select from objectively given options, but to create the very options and the terms in which we value them.
Freedom in the Myth of Er
In Plato's famous Myth of Er, we find a memorable image that becomes a major source of inspiration for Western thinking about freedom. In this post I argue that it encourages us to think about freedom as a kind of selection from objectively given alternatives, and that this is ultimately misleading.