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This course gives a basic overview of the philosophical concept of "freedom" or "liberation" as it has been developed mostly in the western historical context. The lectures begin with Hindu, Christian and Platonic concepts of freedom - i.e. freedom of a state to act without outside control, and spiritual freedom of a person from ignorance.
Quickly, the course then develops the more modern concepts of freedom - from tyrannical government or from oppressive classes - by introducing Locke and Rousseau. These ideas are continued through Hegel and Mill, with discussions of the liberal and nationalistic views of freedom which would be taken up in earnest in the 20th century on a global scale. One lecture is also devoted to Emma Goldman and the anarchist idea of absolute equality and freedom.
Finally, the course takes a different turn, and discusses applications of these more philosophical ideas in real life by three activists - Ghandi, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jnr.
I have to say I was enjoying the philosophy immensely, and whilst the more discussions of the three activists were fascinating, I find myself feeling slightly cheated. Although they all had interesting ideas, such a shift in focus would be more suited to a longer course. Just under half the course is spent discussing these three 20th century figures, when there are a huge number of philosophers that were left out.
Having said that, the lecturer is absolutely brilliant. I am yet to find someone who can get me more interested and engaged with philosophy and his readings of quotes are incredibly exciting.
I definitely recommend this course, up to and including the Ghandi lecture. The rest is take it or leave it - still good but not the same as the rest.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I found this lecture series a refreshing look at some familiar characters but with a focus on Freedom which evokes thoughts of emergence, permission, will, belief, and power. I feel like I've just had an invigorating shower and want to stand up and be counted.