Do you believe that freedom is just being able to do what one wants without constraint? If so, why and how?

A person is not free to act if she is constrained. So, for example, if a person is chained to his bed, he is not free to get out of bed (or even to remain in it). Suppose, however, that a person is the victim of brainwashing, an evil deceiver, a mad scientist, etc.. In the absence of external constraints, such a person might be free to act as she wants, but if her desires have been implanted in her, then what she wants wouldn't be up to her, and so she wouldn't be free to want what she wants. This suggests that there is something more to freedom than freedom of action--some philosophers call it 'freedom of will'. The trick, however, is to explain the nature of freedom of will. I won't even try to do that here.

Sean Greenberg rightly says that the absence of physical constraint does not guarantee freedom. Moreover, as Harry Frankfurt has plausibly claimed, absence of physical constraint isn't even necessary for free will, though it is necessary for freedom. If I start out with free will, you don't take it away from me just by putting me in prison, though you do take away my freedom.

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