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Single Idea 20322

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 4. For Free Will]

Full Idea

Either there is no freedom or it is in asking about it. But what makes me ask is an original will to be free, so my freedom is anticipated in the fact of asking. I cannot prove it first, then will it. I will it because I am conscious of its possibility.

Gist of Idea

I am aware that freedom is possible, and the freedom is not in theory, but in seeking freedom


Karl Jaspers (Philosophy [1932], vol.2)

A Reaction

This presents the subjective claims for free will rather more persuasively than usual. I am conscious of a possibility that I might flap my arms and fly, so that doesn't establish anything. But yearning to be free is a sort of freedom.

Book Reference

'Existentialism', ed/tr. Solomon,Robert C. [Modern Library 1974], p.150