Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 1, No 1 (2005)

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Relational Creativity and the Symmetry of Freedom and Nature

Philip Michael Rose

Abstract


One of the more important and persistent of problems in speculative philosophy is reconciling the relation between freedom and nature. This is often referred to as the problem of freedom and determinism, but this way of formulating the problem assumes, uncritically, that nature is and must necessarily be a purely deterministic framework. As I hope to show, the so-called problem of freedom and determinism lies precisely in this deterministic assumption. By reorienting the question in terms of the relation between freedom and nature, rather than freedom and determinism, we can better see how the problem of their tension or ‘contradiction’ only arises if nature itself is defined and characterized in a very limited, purely deterministic way. Once we step outside the deterministic assumption and entertain alternative views of nature, the problem of freedom and determinism does not arise.

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