Arp, R. (2008). Suárez and Filmer on Freedom. Philosophical Frontiers, 3, 2, 13-39.

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The point of this paper is to explicate freedom as understood by Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) and Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) and to place Suárez and Filmer into dialogue with one another concerning the issues of human freedom and governmental authority. In doing so, I first set the stage by defining five types of freedom as envisioned by Mortimer Adler (1902-2001) in his timeless work, The Idea of Freedom: A Dialectical Examination of the Conceptions of Freedom (1958). Then, I investigate the sections of Suárez’’s De legibus concerning the relationship of the governor to the governed and, using Adler’’s notions of freedom as a model, trace the kinds of freedom espoused therein. Third, I examine Filmer’’s political treatises and explicate the kinds of freedom found in those works. Next, I show that Suárez and Filmer actually agree upon certain issues of paternalism and societal constraint, and that these similarities in... More > their doctrines can be brought out upon examining the notion of freedom. Finally...< Less
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October 6, 2010
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