Doctoral Dissertation

8.8.2018 Perspectives on freedom (Arentshorst)


8.8.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki , S212
M.A. Hans Arentshorst defends his doctoral dissertation in Philosophy "Perspectives on Freedom". Opponent Professor James Ingram (McMaster University, Canada) and Custos Professor Mikko Yrjönsuuri (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

The dissertation tries to contribute to a better understanding of the problems related to the realization of freedom today by turning to the insights of contemporary political philosophy, a discipline that can be divided into three camps – a moral camp (concerned with issues of legitimacy and justice), a social-ethical camp (concerned with the social preconditions of individual self-realization), and a political-historical camp (concerned with the preconditions of doing politics).

Whereas recent philosophical discussions about freedom have often focused on the relation between the moral and social-ethical camp – for example in the debates between defenders of negative and positive freedom, between liberals and communitarians, or between Kantians and Hegelians – this dissertation is concerned with the relation between the social-ethical camp and the political-historical camp.

After a discussion of the different accounts of freedom that can be found in the work of Claude Lefort and Pierre Rosanvallon (both operating in the political-historical camp), and Charles Taylor and Axel Honneth (both working in the social-ethical camp), and after a historical reconstruction of the origins of their methodological differences – which traces the different ideas about freedom in the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Romantic period –the dissertation concludes that today we need a rehabilitation of the political-historical camp if we want to understand the problems related to freedom today.

Publication information:

Hans Arentshorst: Perspectives on freedom. Normative and political views on the preconditions of a free democratic society is published in the series Quaestiones Infinitae, number 114, 278 p., Utrecht 2018, ISBN: 978-94-6295-954-5