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(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

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freedom.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 by