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Becoming a SubjectReflections in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis$
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Marcia Cavell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287086

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199287082.001.0001

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Freedom and Understanding

Freedom and Understanding

Chapter:
(p.109) 8 Freedom and Understanding
Source:
Becoming a Subject
Author(s):

Marcia Cavell (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199287082.003.0009

This chapter argues that there are no good facts of a general or metaphysical nature that can establish that freedom is an empty concept. Psychoanalysis does not show that free will is an illusion, but that the peculiarly human capacity for choice is constrained by phenomena that are equally peculiar as symbol-using creatures. Psychological defences sometimes operate as givens that are, in the moment, beyond our will, governing how we choose and who we are.

Keywords:   freedom, reason, cause, forgiveness, choice

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