Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Humanity and Freedom – Jessica Lewis


 Are humans free?

At the beginning of the assignment, I didn’t quite know what my question would be. The self has always interested me and the way we act and process information has always been a topic of interest henceforth I chose to take a closer look at humans our  freedom.  For years in history there have always been the argument between religion and reality. What is what and who is who.  Freedom is an interesting topic because although we feel free we really aren’t. We still are confined by society  , gender roles, and religion restrictions. For example  even something as simple as coming to school, we don’t choose to go. However school isn’t my topic of interest, my question tackles freedom as whole and zones in on our survival. To help answer my question I found a few articles that made sense to me..

” is it really possible to say that the awareness of his own mortality is what is proper to the human? Is not the feeling of a fundamental vulnerability shared by all living beings? We can in fact easily imagine that animals are, like us, afraid of dying, since they spend their lives trying desperately to survive.” 

One of the readings that helped me understand my question better was Mourning as the Origin of Humanity The topic of  human beings  and how they have have always been conscious of the difference that separates them from other living beings was raised in the article . The example the   author used was  the fact of wearing clothes or painting and how  sometimes deforming their bodies in accordance with specific rituals.Another aspect of the reading that helped me string together my question was when  an allusive reference to Descartes’s was mentioned saying that ”  man has to become the master and possessor of nature, but rather, as Heidegger says again in What is Metaphysics?, the “place-holder of the nothing,” a nothing which is not in the human‘s power to bring before itself and in which it finds itself held.


My reading certainly does confuse me as there are many argument are made that I don’t fully understand.  In the article the author mentions  how humans haven’t made a cure for death and along side the comment about death, immortality is brought up. A new question of mine would be are we free is death? I hate to ask such a morbid question but its always been a wonder of mine. Are we still restricted to the rules of life as we are in spirit?


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