— Pink Floyd
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
— Origin unknown
In the United States of America we celebrated freedom on July 4th. Here are four free or not so free things.
It is useful to consider Richard McKeon’s words on freedom from his Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic Inquiry:
The question, What is freedom? is one of the recurrent ambiguous questions of philosophy which has opened up new dimensions in contemporary thought and action. It is a significant question because the initial interpretation, “freedom is the absence of external impediments to action,” focuses attention on the need to remove the ambiguities of “absence”, “external”, “impediments”, and “actions” and the growing host of ambiguities in each clarifying statement. The semantic scheme constructed from the modes of thought sets forth, thus far (see chart p.253), three sets of determinations of the question, What is freedom? What is freedom in fact or interpretation, What things are free?; What is freedom in thought or method, What property do free things share?; What is freedom in being or principle, What are the grounds of the possibility or the actuality of freedom? The question takes on a vast scope of meanings under these distinctions; and since a complete interpretation of the question makes use of all four semantic headings, the number is increased by the number of possible combinations of the four. The indefinitely large number of possible meanings is the source of the richness of philosophic inquiry, for each interpretation may be used as the hypothesis for further investigation.