" At what price freedom?" The phenomenological rudiments of Sartre's cost-benefit analysis

Philosophy Today 52 (1):36-44 (2008)
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In this paper, the Sartrean perspective on freedom is situated with respect to the fact that the price of freedom is at issue nowadays like never before. Of particular note is the way recourse is taken to what one might call a ‘commodification’ of freedom. We are not only asked to consider the value of freedom, but to do so in relative terms. In the process, therefore, the questions concerning freedom take on a different guise. On the one hand, what must one give up or trade for freedom? On the other, wouldn’t one rather wish to exchange freedom in favor of a life apparently more stable, less risky, and less uncertain? Within this framework of understanding freedom, a critical question can be raised from Sartre’s perspective. Can freedom really be now less costly, now more? As if at least certain aspects of human freedom did not involve certain costs that are incurred no matter what one values, and no matter the circumstances?
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