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Alan Ryan's The Idea of Freedom: Essays in Honour of Isaiah Berlin PDF

By Alan Ryan

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Extra resources for The Idea of Freedom: Essays in Honour of Isaiah Berlin

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3 1 . 9 ibid. , p . 43 . 34 Freedom as an Aesthetic Idea more fruitful account, suggestive of the ways in which an understanding of aesthetic experiences might be relevant to the matters that concerned him, Schiller turned, not to Rousseau, but once more to Kant. In some respects Kant' s Critique of Judgement can be seen as an attempt to soften the sharp contrast drawn in his two previous Criti­ ques between the spheres of theoretical and practical thinking, quali­ fying his earlier claim that in the investigation of nature the only ad­ missible modes of explanation were of a causal or ' mechanistic' kind.

Each remains free t o leave. Yet we can envisage members of the group communicating to their gaoler (imagine there is one) a demand for freedom, to which he could hardly reply that they are free already (even though , individually, they are) . The hypothesis of solidarity makes it evident that this is an imprisoned group . But unless we say, absurdly, that the solidarity creates the im­ prisonment, we must say that the group is imprisoned whether or not solidarity obtains. Returning to the proletariat, we can conclude, by parity of reason­ ing, that although most proletarians are free to escape the pro­ letariat, indeed even if all are, the proletariat is an imprisoned class.

Not all chances are equally remote or equally certain; the network of experiences in which personal life is enmeshed makes room alike for improbable contingencies and (though , of course, far more often) for highly probably occurrences. Consider ' Dora' , one of Freud' s most instructive early cases . One of Dora' s symptoms, a dif­ ficulty in walking, that is dragging her leg, had emerged after a high fever; her puzzled physician had attributed the fever to a mild appen­ dicitis but failed to diagnose the foot-dragging.

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