(1) A principal value in human thought, including
Western post-Enlightenment philosophy.
The goal of philosophical thinking is to create
conditions under which the human potential for
freedom can be maximized.
(2) A specifically human ability to add information
to the world and thus to resist entropy. Nature
is an entropic process, which can be characterized
by its tendency to fall into disorder and
to lose information over time. Life in general, and
human civilization in particular, are local, antientropic
processes preconditioned and enabled by
the energetic surplus on Earth – they are characterized
by their tendency to accumulate information.
To add information to the world means
to create improbable situations. In comparison
to nature, human civilization notably accelerates
antientropic processes by usage and accumulation
of information in the form of symbols. Freedom
is therefore a specically human capacity
to counteract entropy by raising the amount of information in the world in the form of symbols,
thus creating less probable states of affairs.
(3) In the opposition between dialogue and
discourse as forms of human communication,
freedom is located on the side of dialogic forms
of communication. Discourse is the top-down,
vertical form of information transfer that limits
possible combinations of symbols and notions
to the preestablished forms desired by the actual
relations of social power. Dialogue is a
horizontal form of communication which allows
new combinations of symbols and meanings to
appear, and therefore constitutes a possibility to
add information to the world.
(4) In the interaction between humans and the apparatus, freedom is the ability to use the apparatus beyond its preprogrammed functions. Each human–apparatus combination constitutes a certain eld of possible actions. When humans use the apparatus according to its preestablished functions and algorithms, their actions are being determined and reduced to mere functions of the apparatus. When trying to broaden the eld of possible actions by transcending the preprogrammed functions of the apparatus, human beings add information to the world and thus expand their sphere of freedom.
Original article by Miłosz Renda-Szydłowski