Published on www.philosophyoffreedom.com (http://philosophyoffreedom.org)

Chapter 1 Conscious Human Action

Revised 04/09/2010

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by Dale Brunsvold 

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Chapter 07 [0]   reality-based thinking
ego  Chapter 08 [0]   ethics of self-knowledge  
 Chapter 06 [0]   independent thinking  
 mental picture 
 Chapter 09 [0]   ethical individualism
 Chapter 05 [0]   critical thinking concept  Chapter 10 [0]   ethics of authority
 Chapter 04 [0]   reactive thinking perception  Chapter 11 [0]   ethical naturalism
 Chapter 03 [0]   reflective thinking 
thought  Chapter 12 [0]   ethical norms
 Chapter 02 [0]   one-sided thinking desire  Chapter 13 [0]   ethics of self-gratification 
 Chapter 01   compelled thinking action  Chapter 14 [0]   group ethics


The Philosophy of Freedom

Chapter 1
Conscious Human Action


Active Thinking: Most people are only able to think passively, finding active thinking impossible. But active thinking has no room for sleepy nor for intellectual dreaming. One must keep in step with it and get one's thinking on the move. The moment thinking is set in motion one goes with it. Then what I should like to call modern clairvoyance ceases to be anything miraculous. That this clairvoyance should still appear as something particularly miraculous comes from people not wishing to develop the energy to bring activity into their thinking.  -more in Notes [0] below

Question: Are we free thinkers with free will or are we driven by unconscious urges, emotions, or habits of thought making our sense of freedom an illusion?

Other reading:  Rudolf Steiner's Idea of Freedom [0]

Thought Training Exercise:
PTIT Introduction: Traditional Opinions and Habits [0]
PTIT exercise #1 Right Attitude Toward Thinking [0]

Comments - Questions:
Chapter 1 Discussion Forum [0]
Rita Stebbing Book Summary [0]
Summary 1 [0]  Olin D. Wannamaker
Summary 2 [0]  Eric Cunningham [1]
Self-Observation: Motives [1]
Textbook [1]
Notes: active thinking [1]

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[1] The Question Of Freedom
Is the human being free in thought and action, or inescapably controlled by natural laws?

1.1 [1] Freedom of Indifferent Choice
(support) Neutrally choosing, entirely at will, one or the other of two possible courses of action.
(opposed) There always exists a specific reason to explain why we carry out an action.

1.2 [1] Freedom Of Choice
(support) Make a free choice according to our own wants and preferences.
(opposed) We are not free to desire or not desire arbitrarily.

1.3 [1] Free Necessity Of One's Own Nature
(support) Freedom is to express the necessity of our own nature.
(opposed) However complex, our nature is determined by external causes to act in a fixed and exact way.

1.4 [1] Free From External Influences
(support) We act on an idea only if it is first accepted by our character.
(opposed) An idea is made into a motive according to the 'necessity' of our characterological disposition.

1.5 [1] Action Resulting From Conscious Motive
(support) Rather than blind urge, we act according to a conscious motive.
(opposed) The knower has been separated from the doer. We don’t always do what we know should be done.

1.6 [1] Free When Controlled By Reason
(support) Freedom is to determine one's life and action by purpose and deliberate decisions.
(opposed) A rational decision may emerges in me with the same necessity with which hunger and thirst arise.

1.7 [1] Free To Do As One Wants
(support) To be free does not mean being able to determine what one wants, but being able to do what one wants.
(opposed) If a motive works on me, and I am compelled to follow it because it proves to be the “strongest” of its kind, then the thought of freedom ceases to make any sense.

1.8 [1] Unconditioned Will
(support) Our will is the cause of our movement, the willing itself is unconditioned; it is an absolute beginning (a first cause and not a link in a chain of events).
(opposed) We do not perceive the causes that determine our will, so we believe it is not causally determined at all.

1.9 [1] Knowledge Of The Reasons
(support) Freedom is an action of which the reasons are known.
(opposed) What is the origin of our thoughts?

1.10 [1] Action Springs From The Heart
(support) Love, compassion, and patriotism are driving forces for action where heart-felt sensibility prevails.
(opposed) The heart and its sensibility do not create the motives of action. The motives have already been established.

1.11 [1] Expression Of Love

(support) Love determines our action.
(opposed) Thought is the father of feeling. Love is based on the thoughts we form of the loved one. The more idealistic these thoughts are, the more blissful is our love.

1.12 [1] Seeing Good Qualities
(support) We see the good qualities of the loved one. Many pass by without noticing these good qualities.
(opposed) What has this person done other than make a mental image of something that hundreds of others have failed to see? Others do not love because they lack the mental image.


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