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Moderne Freiheit (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Volker Balli, Jan Zutavern

wöchentlich | Dienstag | 08:00 - 10:00 | 12.10.2015 - 29.01.2016 | C 14.001
Einzeltermin | Mi, 21.10.2015, 14:15 - Mi, 21.10.2015, 15:45 | C 14.202 | Workshop
Einzeltermin | Fr, 23.10.2015, 18:00 - So, 25.10.2015, 15:00 | extern | Externer Workshop
Einzeltermin | Mi, 04.11.2015, 14:15 - Mi, 04.11.2015, 15:45 | C 14.202 | Workshop
Einzeltermin | Mi, 25.11.2015, 14:15 - Mi, 25.11.2015, 18:00 | C 14.204 | Workshop
Einzeltermin | Mi, 13.01.2016, 14:15 - Mi, 13.01.2016, 15:45 | C 14.027 | Workshop

Inhalt: Freedom, as an idea and ideal, is arguably the most important intellectual underpinning of contemporary societies and a decisive driving force in modern history. At the same time, ‘freedom’ has been severely contested: with regard to its status as a principle relative to other ends such as justice or security as well as with regard to the question of what exactly its realisation in personal and social life would mean and entail. In this course, we want to shed light on the question of freedom under conditions of modernity, by drawing on a variety of scholarly fields, including intellectual history, historical sociology, social and political theory, literature and philosophy. We will do so by paying special attention to the relationship between, on the one hand, thinking about, and justifications for, freedom, as expressed in texts that have become points of reference in debates and, on the other hand, transformations in the human world over the last 300 to 400 years - a period that is often termed ‘modernity.’ For each of three analytically distinct spheres - the economic, the political, and the cultural -, we will try to understand the sense in, and extent to, which these transformations can be seen as movements of liberation, drawing particular attention to their intended and especially unintended effects. How has the emergence of modern freedom affected what we can know, what we can do, and how we can understand historical change? These will be the three guiding questions underlying the course. The course is structured in three parts: Sessions 1 to 4 will serve as a broad introduction to the general problematique of modern freedom. This first part will focus on the concepts of freedom and modernity, and discuss their ambiguities and contested nature. The second part - sessions 5 to 10 - take a historical perspective on the realisation of the idea/l of freedom in three domains of social life, paying attention both to central texts and to events, historical struggles and processes. In a third part - sessions 11 to 13 - we will study three distinct intellectual perspectives that offer answers to the question of how to take decisions, and thus how to act, under a, arguably, general condition of freedom. These intellectual perspectives will be related to the personal aspirations of each student with regard to the course of study.