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      The Worldview of Relative Simultaneity         (MURAYAMA Akira)

CHAPTER IV    Ethics issues (The Theory of Freedom)

3. Analysis of Objective Freedom

(1) Approaches to Freedom Studies

Academic studies of freedom involve many different approaches. The first is based on the history of thoughts, which can be categorized into ethical, political and economic thoughts and cover a wide variety of beliefs ranging from the ancient to the modern. These studies are related to the history of thoughts in every part of the world, both East and the West. The modern Western history of thoughts alone contains a huge accumulation of beliefs on the notion of freedom. Even to argue about the contemporary theory of freedom seems a tremendous task.
   The second approach is based on the history of politics. The approach addresses the historical process in which human beings struggled to obtain freedom and when, where and to what extent they realized their goal. This second approach is compatible with studies of political thought history. The history during the modern age is particularly significant.
   The third approach is based on linguistic analyses. This approach analyzes how and in what situation the concept of freedom is used based on use case. Different languages may address the issue differently. Comparative linguistics would address nuanced issues that vary from language to language and close attention must be paid to how concepts evolve over time. In addition, logical studies based on a particular language model may also be possible.
   The fourth approach is based on brain physiology. In recent years, studies on free will have been developed with a focus on physiology. The argument says that the readiness potential of the brain is produced well before human beings recognize the will of their spontaneous activities. Of course, you should be careful about drawing any rash conclusions from such a statement. The argument involves a simulated test of free choice processes using a computer. Although these approaches may identify the psychological mechanism of free will from a certain angle, I doubt whether they will comprehensively cover all aspects of freedom.
   The fifth approach is based on natural history. I knew this from Freedom Evolves (*1) by Daniel C. Dennett. Without limiting freedom to human society, he considers the subject from the evolutionary perspective of human moral and ethical processes in which we developed our communicative ability through the long evolutionary progress of materials and living things. Different people may evaluate his book in different ways, but his approach itself is rather interesting. There may be other approaches to the theory of freedom that have not yet been disseminated.
   Here, I seek to present my own analyses of freedom models based on four-dimensional spatiotemporal worldviews. Ultimately, this requires close examination from a variety of viewpoints. In this section, I will present my own freedom model analysis.

(2) Space-time Determinism and Objective Criteria for Freedom

As noted before, I refuse to take the approach of considering freedom on the basis of free will. My greatest reason for this refusal is that such an approach is incompatible with the ideas behind four-dimensional space-time presented in the previous chapters.
   The conclusion that everything from the past to the future is predetermined may be contradictory to the idea that free will creates the world. Even if you remove this concept of subjective freedom from our focus, the concept of objective freedom will remain. That is, if you approach the concept of freedom as a notion representing the structural characteristics of the world, you can strengthen your thoughts about it in an objective manner.
   When social science deals with the concept of freedom, it does not directly treat the subject of free will. The main subject entails objective situations based on human relations. However, when we come to how individuals should be, the situation becomes more complicated. Moving from discussions of the dimension of existence to the dimension of how individuals should be requires an enormous logical leap. I will explain the matter of how individuals should be in detail at the end of this section. I focus on the subject of existence in the beginning. When you discuss freedom, it is natural that you should not separate the subject of existence from the matter of how individuals should be. (This is a proposition of how individuals should be.) I also stick to this way of thinking. However, I dare to separate the two subjects from each other. It is because in this area, although frequently the subject of existence and the matter of how individuals should be are mixed together unconsciously, this mixing may possibly reduce philosophically critical thought rather than strengthen it. In fact, it is rather difficult to consistently hold this attitude and my aim is consistency. (This is also a proposition of how individuals should be. After all, I should limit the use of this proposition to the approach to the subject of existence.)
   As one example of freedom as an objective structure, you can think of the degrees of freedom of physical movements. This is a physical and engineering concept. For instance, compared to a structure in which things can just move from side to side, a structure in which things can move back and forth, from side to side and up and down has a higher degree of freedom. This represents the structural differences of substances.
   Of course, it is inappropriate to reduce all of the subject of freedom to such mechanical structures. The structures of the world involve a wide range of complicated hierarchies. In considering freedom of speech and freedom of association, you have to pay attention to political and power structures.
   With a focus on space-time determinism, if certain mechanical parts move from the right to the left, that should be considered a specific historical fact. In the case in which things move from the right to the left in a structure where things can just move from side to side should be separated from the case in which things move from the right to the left in a structure where things can move back and forth and from side to side. Or suppose that a man distributes political pamphlets criticizing the government in the street. This should be regarded as a specific historical fact. However, it also matters whether the man’s act is conducted in a social situation where he might be arrested for an illegal act or under a condition in which freedoms of speech and expression are guaranteed. If you approach the subject of freedom from the perspective of specific behaviors and objective structures for the acts, it is also significant in the context of the spatiotemporal deterministic idea that everything is predetermined.
   Now, let me take freedom of choice as an example. Imagine that a man is given two shortcakes and he eats one cake with a strawberry on it. This specific historical fact is predetermined and destined. The meaning, however, is different for the case in which he is given two shortcakes with strawberries on them and for the case in which he is given one strawberry shortcake and one chocolate cake. In the latter case, he must decide which cake to choose. In addition, the meaning is also different for the case in which he is a great strawberry lover and for the case in which he has just eaten chocolate. If he likes or dislikes both, he is affected by this freedom of choice. Furthermore, the meaning is also different if his hungry younger brother and sister accompany him and he chooses one strawberry shortcake when he is told to take the one he likes the most (that is, under the condition that if he takes the one he likes, his brother or sister cannot eat the food or they must share the remaining food). The freedom of choice he is given takes on more complicated connotations.
   Certainly, there exists the subject of freedom in the world in an objective manner. This does not mean that freedom exists only in relation to particular individual behaviors (and a related frame of mind, such as human will). The subject of freedom exists in relation to comprehensive conditions involving various events and objects. That is, freedom is an attribute concerning a certain situation. It is inadequate to just focus on situations related to concerned behaviors. You need to pay attention to comprehensive assumptions as well. With respect to the aforementioned examples, the fundamental questions are why only two cakes are given to three brothers and sisters and why the man criticizes the government.
   If you approach the subject of freedom on the basis of the free will of actors, you will lose sight of those fundamental issues about comprehensive environments, which should be seriously considered.
   On the whole, it seems that modern social thoughts have often been based on the existence of individuals with free will. Even if those thoughts are developed into objective values and systems, such as social contracts, laws and Absolute Spirit, their logical structures will collapse without the essential existence of individuals with free will. These logical structures cannot be directly applied to the philosophy of four-dimensional space-time.
   It is certain that the free will presented by modern thoughts is not based on random and reckless acts but rather is supported by rational subjects. Therefore, it involves reasonable and objective ethical values, but the question is whether this is actually true? Are free situations that actually exist based on such highly motivated individual free will?
   History clearly shows that, even today, life-risking struggles for freedom continue. Are those struggles intended to gain abstract free will for individuals? I very much doubt it. These struggles are more likely intended for reforming society in certain situations in the context of creating new power arrangements.
   The idea of reducing the subject of freedom to subjective free will without trying to understand its objective implications has often caused freedom to become a nominal abstract slogan and has also created the communal illusion that freedom is a mysterious but grand and sacred notion. Many tragedies and comedies have occurred under the flag of symbolized freedom. An undeniable historical fact is that although freedom is somewhat considered a communal illusion, the notion of freedom has united many people as a noble ideal and has worked as a trustworthy force for society.

(3) The Evolution of Freedom in the Process of Natural History

Daniel C. Dennett’s approach based on natural history presented in one of his books, Freedom Evolves (*2), should be noted as a modality of objective structure when considering freedom.
   His approach is based on naturalism. That is, all phenomena involve no supernatural principles and spiritual hypostases transcending the body and can be explained from the perspective of natural processes. (Although not accurate, this may be regarded as a kind of materialism, but the term is often avoided because it involves the nuance of money-possessions-oriented principles.) He detached freedom from the human spiritual world and things characteristic of human society. He was free from the modern philosophical approach of addressing freedom on the basis of independent individual forms of consciousness (self-consciousness) as primarily given entity. Instead, Dennett considered self-consciousness the product of human social activities through interactive communication. In his opinion, freedom is an ability that had gradually been prepared and developed in the long process of materialistic and life evolutions well before the nurturing of high-level human spiritual culture.
   During that process, chemical substances evolved into more stable structures. Life developed self-reproduction ability, sensory organs and memorizing ability and evolved by obtaining well-organized mechanisms and nurturing its ability to flexibly adjust itself to the environment. Human intelligence developed from automatically programmed action levels to the achievement of ability to quickly adjust to the outside environment by learning and inferring without relying on gene-level adaptive changes. In human society at the highest level of that process, imagination-based simulations are conducted and the information of their results is also shared. In addition, human beings can behave according to elaborate plans without depending on random trials and errors. The evolution of cultural memes (cultural replicator, one of Richard Dawkins’s coined terms in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena) led to the development of morals, ethics and senses of responsibility.
   Dennett’s approach is based on the evolution theory presented by Darwin and Dawkins, the game theory, computer-simulated study results on life activities, brain science and other wide-range scientific knowledge. His stance is that freedom can be understood on the basis of these various scientific insights, but in his book, he argues against determinism. In his criticism of deterministic worldviews, there is no room for freedom because human thinking patterns and behaviors are determined by laws of physics, biology and brain science. He argues for the emergence of high-level phenomena that cannot be reduced to the low-level inevitability of natural hierarchies. He presents examples showing that even blinking pixels on the display of the programs on the basis of simple rules create simulated life phenomena when the pixels are combined in large amounts to be mutually linked. Even if things just move in a deterministic manner at the microscopic level, combinations of pixels show complicated behavior of attacking, defending and cooperating and the emergence of various eventualities and substances that smartly make use of those eventualities. The process exhibits different levels of laws. Even this toy-like system called life game involves the emergence of such modalities. As the effect of fluctuations based on quantum theory is absorbed and eliminated by the processor, the emergence of eventualities has nothing to do with those fluctuations. In this process, determinacy and eventualities should be separately approached at each hierarchical level and the simple reductive conception should be avoided. It makes no sense to try to directly associate human free will with fluctuations based on quantum theory.
   Evolution of humankind to achieve high-level control functions free from the effect of low-level inevitability. These functions have accumulated in nature over a long period to give rise to our freedom. Dennet also considers that determinacy and inevitability should be separated. Even if all phenomena can be interpreted as decisive at microscopic levels, their structured body at macroscopic levels have the ability to prevent phenomena, which cannot be described as inevitable.
   The determinism mentioned here refers to the causal determinism that I noted in Section 7 of Chapter 1. Dennet also notes this usual type of determinism. The most extreme case of causal determinism is Laplace’s mechanical complete determinism. Dennet considers that if this way of thinking is correct, freedom at high hierarchical levels exists. In the meantime, the space-time determinism based on the existence of four-dimensional space-time is also a complete form of determinism. The above-mentioned thinking pattern can be compatible with this. Space-time determinism is considered the most abstract form of existence and has nothing to do with how the determination is made. In accordance with this reasoning, emergent structures are not derived from space-time determinism. Emergent structures just exist as four-dimensional space-time structures. But from the perspective of the four-dimensional space-time realism, freedom means a certain matter related to a state of events and things existing in four-dimensional space-time. In four-dimensional space-time, a type of free state and a type of inconvenient(not free) state are distributed. The examination of objective freedom means to discover how they are and what structures the relationships between those states have.
   With Dennet’s approach, we can interpret that objective freedom indicates that the states have the ability to continue to exist (survive) in an intelligent way. Their capability is based on flexible control capability and information-processing capability. By developing this capability, a wide range of options for action free from low-level inevitability are obtained, enhancing their mutual adjustment functions and constructing ideal mechanisms, such as ethics and sense of responsibility. In addition, humankind is trying to get even the earth’s environment and genes under control with the power of science. Dennet also mentions the resulting humankind’s serious responsibility.
   Dennet’s approach is worthy of note. If you approach freedom without addressing the transcendental spiritual hypostasis, this is one way of thinking that requires your attention. Basically, his book focuses on freedom as a general ability of humankind. The book does not adequately explain specific issues of freedom and inconvenience or specific approaches to issues at various phases of individual life. The book gives abstractiveness lacking in persuasiveness to deal with freedom and inconvenience in our lives. Asking the book for more is probably too much to ask.

(4) Freedom as a Power (Ability) and Defining Force

When considering freedom, the independence of the subject is often referred to as a precondition. Regardless of whether it is a necessary condition or a sufficient condition, freedom exists only when the subject is independent. The fundament question is what it means to be independent. As the minimum necessary condition, the subject must have recognizable structures as an individual existence. The subject is expected to have some kind of force, which can be expressed as ability. This ability enables the subject to be independent from others without relying on others or being ruined by others. An independent existence is relied on by others and can sometimes attack others if necessary. Without force, you could not be independent. The concept of independence is seemingly simple and suitable for logical construction as a primarily existent thing. A close examination of the concept shows that it is comprised of fluid conditions based on exceedingly complicated structures. You will be able to construct logics more easily with a greater focus on the concept of force than on the concept of independence.
   Dennet’s book also regards freedom as a certain type of ability. Essentially, the concept of freedom and the concept of force or ability have tight correlations with each other. Innumerable writings involve the word freedom. If you exchange the word freedom with the word power in those sentences, it is no problem and does not impact the original meaning in many cases. This tendency is especially noticeable with the expression “gain (or lose) freedom.”
   I even consider that it is not wrong to declare that a kind of freedom means force. Some may argue that this is an oversimplified way of thinking about freedom. To those people, I would argue that their idea is based on an oversimplified attitude about the concept of force.
   Over a long period of time, I have considered that if you seek to examine the concept of freedom in a philosophically critical manner, you will have to also currently examine the concept of force. Ability is a potential of power and refers to power that could be potentially realized. Therefore, the basic concept is force. Then the question becomes defining force. Physics (dynamics) handles this concept in an academic and systematic way, but how many fields other than physics address the concept in a profound manner despite frequently using the concept?
   The concept of force is often mentioned as an explanatory factor at every hierarchical level in nature and human society. Most of those cases cannot be reduced to the physical concept of force. For example, if economic power can be reduced to physical force, you cannot explain why a bank is in a stronger position than a construction company with bulldozers and power shovels. In economic society, the ability to run money is more powerful than the force to move earth and sand. In accordance with this reasoning, the dynamic concept of force is almost nothing in other fields. However, in fact, the concept of force is often mentioned as a self-evident concept in a number of fields. If you explain something on the basis of a certain type of force, you will be able to easily persuade people. It often matters what kind of force works, but in contrast, few people consider what force is in an essential sense. They behave as if they were declaring that the answer is quite obvious and force is nothing but force.
   As I studied four-dimensional space-time, I had to be skeptical of the obviousness of the concept of force. In four-dimensional space-time representations, substantial force that causes every event vanishes. There just exist four-dimensional structures that change or do not change their forms in the direction of time and the recognition subject that scans them analyzes and understands them on the basis of the concept of force. As an imaginary phenomenon, force works to move or not move the world. However, as a matter of fact, scanned representations involve four-dimensional structures to which the concept of force can be applied and in this sense, force is something objective. Fundamentally, it is the tendency of four-dimensional structures that exists and the concept of force is just valid as a differential concept in the direction of their time. If there are curves in space, they exist as curves. This does not mean that the idea of curvature exists and that it causes curves to bend. Curvature is an analytical concept. By the same token, there just exist bending world lines in space-time and their existence does not mean that force causes the curve of lines to exist. Acceleration, an analytic concept, represents the curvature of world lines. Force is just a weighting of mass to the acceleration and is an analytical concept, not a substantial concept.
   In this way, in the field of dynamics, the concept of force does not have a position as an essential hypostasis. Is this applied to only the dynamic concept of force? I want to question like this because the four-dimensionality of the world cannot be considered applicable only to physics. I think critically that force can no longer exist as a substantial concept in higher-dimensional phenomena as well and that the obviousness of force is generally invalid now.
   In accordance with this reasoning, what is force in a more general sense apart from dynamics? How should we define the force? Is such general definition possible? If it is impossible, what gives the same name force to a completely different thing? Generally, what do we consider involves force and in what case? What does it mean to be powerful?
   The question of defining freedom overlaps with another question of defining force. Both questions should be reflectively considered as four-dimensional space-time structure.
   Now, let me give you the following definition: If a certain state continues for a long time, it is powerful. This definition seems to include some truth but cannot account for a powerful force that is generated for a short time. Then, the definition may be that if a certain state changes into another in a short time, a strong force is at work. This is compatible with Newton’s equation of motion, but not always with the life force and economic power. Both seem inadequate. Force is a concept understood in the contradiction between longtime continuation and short-time change. From the perspective of dynamics, a major factor for longtime continuation is mass (the reason for inertial force) and a major factor for short-time change is acceleration (that is, the curvature of world lines). Force can subsist only in a pair of action and reaction. Otherwise, a one-sided trend would just be observed and the concept of power could not be established. The concept of power can be observed in both sides of continuation and change and which side is the focus on depends on the context. In the case of life force, in the structure in which the tendency of destroying the condition of individuals and groups and the tendency of sustaining and propagating the condition resist each other, it is the force that is observed in the latter process. If another side is the focus, the force of ultraviolet rays and flood is observed. In the case of economic power, in the structure in which the tendency of ruining the economic entity and the tendency of sustaining and developing it resist each other, it is the force that is observed in the latter process. If another side is the focus, the powerful force of other economic entity and economic conditions is observed.
   In four-dimensional space-time, these tangles of resisting tendencies exist at various hierarchical levels. The consciousness that scans space-time finds the concept of force in that process and recognizes that force plays a significant role in sustaining and changing structure. This is a general interpretation of the concept of four-dimensional force.
   This general concept of force is more specifically explored and understood at each natural level. In physics, theories such as various equations of dynamics, the gauge fields of four fundamental interactions and distorted space-time correspond to the understood concepts. In addition, forces based on statistical tendencies are also included. Specific force modalities are drawn according to structural analyses at a higher level.
   As Dennet shows, force is closely related to information-processing functions at a higher level than a certain natural hierarchy, particularly at a level higher than the life system. Simple physical force withdraws into the background and a decisive factor on whether or not force exists is how to control the natural tendency of the background. In the fight against the environment, natural enemies, games and other competitors, intelligence matters. For example, the ability of athletes to obtain and process information is more important than their muscle force. For war and business as well, information acquisition and precise processing are the most important factors. Information acquisition and processing capability are one of the most significant modalities of force at high hierarchical levels.
   Furthermore, the force of possession is also important. Creatures try to secure conditions advantageous to their own survival by possessing things around them in some way or other. Territory is a typical example. Preying on other living things and breathing can be considered primitive forms of possession. We could say that plants possess carbon from carbon dioxide in the air through photosynthesis. In a broad sense, possession can be widely observed in various hierarchical systems. In addition, possession also works as an important factor for the subsistence of various forms of force. At the same time, it is undeniable that various forces of background are mobilized and organized to maintain and expand the state of possession. To maintain and expand possession, you have to overcome the tendency to deny the possession. Therefore, some form of force is involved in the process. The force threats and attacks resisting things. It is based on legal and political power or social and economic human relations. Different force is organized depending on the situation at each hierarchical level. The above-noted information-processing capacity will be useful in various forms in that process. In that sense, possession is a complicated and comprehensive form of force. To put this another way, the concept of possession cannot exist in the world where no force works. Shrikes usually do not expand their territory well beyond the area where they can fight against the invading enemies. Human beings cannot live on a broiling Venus or a frozen Neptune and possession is unlikely to occur on either planet. Things seem different in the case of the moon and Mars in the near future. Essentially, underground resources are no one’s assets. They are yet to be excavated and just exist on earth. It is by force that countries and companies can possess them.
   When you approach freedom as a form of force, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the matters of information-processing capacity and force of possession. Of course, the two matters are not the only focal points. A more general examination of force just beyond physics is essential for examining freedom. This study presents entry-level proposals about freedom and leaves much room for a total examination of dynamics in general. Here I emphasize the importance of noting the concept of force.
   A decisive factor on whether a person is put in a free or inconvenient situation seems to be whether or not he or she has power, particularly personal capability as a potential power. If a certain type of substantive concept repeatedly produces force to what it can be applied to or what is considered to involve similar structures and that can be considered to be caused by internal factors, the hypostasis is conceptually considered to involve capability. In particular, if the emergence of force is linked with the psychological phenomenon of free will, it is considered a form of capability in a human sense (or a similar sense to it). Freedom is a form of power or capability. In Japanese, physically disabled persons from the perspective of normal people are expressed as persons with some impaired (FuJiyu=not free) function (for example, hearing) and this suggests that those persons lack a certain type of capability. If you just focus on physically impaired functions, you are wrong in understanding capability. In this case, capability depends on an overall, in this case, social context. The possibility of capability is hugely different between the case in which disabled persons are discriminated against, not given equal employment opportunities and suffer from poverty due to their handicaps and the case in which those persons enjoy full support from others, are given many opportunities for social contribution, are guaranteed barrier-free conditions and can purchase special aid appliances and devices through preferential measures. The capability is higher in the latter case than in the former case and the persons are in a freer condition.
   Fundamentally, capability is significant only in the entire social field. I have no wings and cannot fly in the sky. I cannot run at a speed of 200 kilometer an hour either, but no one thinks that I am handicapped in terms of wings and feet. However, if almost everyone could fly and move as fast as a bullet train, I, who am not capable of doing those things, would be looked at with disdain and pity. Just as the force of a one-coulomb charged particle cannot be described without its electric field, power and capability represent not an attribute of individual things but an attribute in relation to the entire field. This is true with not only the case in which some kind of force does not work but also with the case in which some kind of force works. For example, the power of a person who has much money exists not as his or her individual attribute but as a social attribute including he or she.
   Next, I focus on another modality of a more general form of force just beyond the level of physics. This is the force of generality (abstractness) and the force of individuality (specificity). The force of generality means, for instance, the power of money as a particular commodity. If you run a company by holding a specific means of production, you will be impacted by an increase in oil prices, but if you possess capital with a general form of value, you will be able to quickly withdraw from dangerous areas and gain profit margins by utilizing the situation. Or this can be compared to Microsoft Windows, a computer operating system that has won an overwhelming share of the software market. Common use and standardization can often be a source of power. If something can be commonly used, it needs to involve precise generality. It can be called the force of abstractness. It may be such kind of power that mathematics, physics and philosophy seek to treat.
   Good computer programs have a high level of abstractness. These programs can be applied to many situations by changing parameter specifications. For example, in the case of object-oriented programming, you can create module systems with a high level of generality by designing abstract classes. If you give too much consideration to generality, you will end up creating programs that are too difficult to use, such as those that force you to take the trouble of specifying the obvious every time you use them. Computer programs are of little use unless they are accurately customized for every single condition. The differential equation of physics is often used due to its generality, but unless you obtain primitive functions by integration, you will find the equation almost useless. You need to specifically determine initial conditions to do that.
   Generality and abstractness are not always represented in the form of force levels and they also depend on the context. To put this another way, this means the lack of individuality and specificity and in some cases, individuality and specificity can cause force. In accordance with this reasoning, the force of generality (abstractness) and the force of individuality (specificity) can be compared with the relationship of action and reaction that creates force by being contradictory. However, good generality (abstractness) can facilitate an approach to a vivid level of individuality (specificity) and adequate dedication to individuality (specificity) can lead to a more universal and higher level of generality (abstractness). Therefore, the relationship between the two factors cannot be simply regarded as confrontational.
   The good point of generality and abstractness is its flexibility to various situational changes in terms of time and space and the weak point of generality and abstractness is its inability to quickly react to situations in the most optimized manner. Conversely, the good point of individuality and specificity is its ability to quickly react to situations in the most optimized manner and the weak point of individuality and specificity is its difficulty in flexibly reacting to various situational changes.
   The force of generality (abstractness) supports the force of possession and the force of individuality (specificity) requires information acquisition and processing capability. Many different types of force are tightly related to and intertwined with each other in a complicated manner.
   I will focus on freedom. Let me take the freedom of choice as an example. This seems quite simple, but do the force of generality (abstractness), information acquisition and processing capability and the force of possession work behind it? Are physical forces also linked with it at its basal layer, including structurally physical levels of freedom? The freedom of examining inevitability seems a representation of information acquisition and processing capability. The issue of freedom can be realistically approached by examining the dynamic factors behind it. If you consider freedom as an objective space and time structure, you need to analyze various forms of force at many different hierarchical levels in a four-dimensional world. A state of freedom and inconvenience in a four-dimensional sense may be reduced to parts that have power and parts that do not have power in a number of ways.

(5) Modality of Traded-Off Freedom

Human genes do not involve the ability to drive a car. Therefore, if you want to drive a car, you have to acquire driving techniques. Currently, areas where you can do without cars are quite limited. In this situation, many people learn to drive a car and want to drive freely.
   In this section, I will consider the simple phrase “conveniently (Jiyu-ni(=freely,easily...)) drive a car.” What does the phrase mean?
   You can make a car move if you learn to start the engine and use the accelerator, brake, steering wheel and transmission. If you drive a car in the middle of a large field such as the Great Plains, you can easily control the vehicle so that it moves in the desired direction and at the desired speed. You seldom have such occasions and if you can drive a car only in such a limited environment, driving is quite inconvenient. You usually drive in the street or on paved roads. If you drive in such a place recklessly, you cannot guarantee the safety of lives and the assets of yourself or other people. You have to learn the rules and abide by them. You have to constantly make sure that both sides and back are safe. You have to think what route you should take to reach your destination (personally speaking, I do not have the car navigation system) and after you have arrived, you have to think where to park. When you park your car, you need to be careful so that you will not dent your car or other cars. When I began to drive, I discovered a number of problems. I had to consider automobile safety inspections, car tax, accident insurance, fuel costs, washing and avoiding traffic jams. I did not need to pay attention to those things before I had the car. In addition, I had to refrain from drinking when driving a car. I felt the many kinds of freedom that driving deprived me of. Having such inconvenience, you can freely move people and things wherever you want to go (as long as it is possible). You do not need to wait for the bus and you take your time to walk from the station and bus stop. The latter type of freedom can be obtained by sacrificing the former type of freedom (that is, the freedom of not needing to use your time, efforts and attention for troublesome, tiresome things). It is, so to speak, traded-off freedom.
   As you get used to such conditions, you will find that many troublesome things are no problem. Getting used to those things means that your behavior is automated. You can act unconsciously and go with the flow while listening to music and news on the radio. You act according to a conditioned response in such a way so as to move your car to the right lane for a right turn, turn on the signal and make sure that your back is all right. Your behavioral patterns are just like the sub-routines of computer programs and you can simply execute the programs without creating complicated programs every time. This behavior is a kind of mechanized system and the entire process leaves little room for free will. You obtain another level of freedom by leaving less room for free will. This is also a kind of traded-off freedom. This seems related to the fact that one of the forces behind freedom is information-processing capability.
   We experience this kind of event in various ways from birth to death. These events can be universally observed in sports, entertainment and academic circles, as well as in cleaning, washing and cooking. We realize the quality of freedom by the limitations of freedom and develop the quality of freedom. For example, when you play the piano, your music will not be enjoyable if you play randomly or by exerting free will every time you touch the keyboard. You will not be able to enjoy music unless you master the patterns of rhythm, code progress and melody, which have been historically cultivated, and performed freely on the basis of automated structures. If you take on something new, you cannot master what is new unless you have gone beyond the basics. John Cage’s music is no exception. (Fundamentally, art has the ultimate limit by which art cannot subsist unless it touches the senses of several people and at least yours. But you cannot even become yourself all by yourself.) In the meantime, the piano has limits in itself. It cannot produce medium sounds between the keys. This is a freedom lost as traded-off to enable one player handle wide-tone strings comparatively easily at the same time by a tool called a keyboard. Other instruments require performance with more than two fingers, breath adjustments and training to produce one accurate-pitch sound. In contrast, the piano with a simple one finger movement can do the same thing. This tradeoff of freedom sacrifices subtle sounds that only stringed and wind instruments can produce and the half of a halftone in Arabic music, but instruments with the keyboard attained particularly versatile position (at least in the framework of Western music). Instruments with a keyboard have the great freedom of gorgeously playing an endless amount of music. (You can adjust sounds on the piano by subtle finger touches and it is higher level of freedom than that of the cembalo, a typical instrument with a keyboard in the previous century. Currently, the synthesizer and other electronic instruments are being used just beyond conventional limits. But on the new horizon of freedom are lying the carcasses of another form of traded-off freedom.)
   Let me get back to freedom concerning cars. How can you have more freedom regarding cars? There are many conceivable methods. For instance, you can make the utmost effort to develop your driving techniques. You go into the motorsports world and win races by manipulating formula-type cars and grand touring cars in a skillful way. The way to participate in a car race is not limited to directly driving a car. You can also develop your ability to tune up the car as much as possible. In addition, speed is not the only factor for freedom with cars. You can have luxury cars with a focus on comfortable drivability, relaxing interior space, safety-oriented designs and devices, adequately strong structures and torque power for heavy bodies. In this situation, you can also enjoy high status. This is another aspect of the freedom with cars. Furthermore, there is another aspect, which is opposite of the possession of cars. This aspect includes car-sharing and car-rental. Then, how about car maintenance? Newer cars have computer-controlled sensors so that you can notice broken parts quickly and easily repair them by replacing parts. Also important is to secure a constant-supply structure for supplementary parts. This is closely linked with information-processing functions. This measure may be a major direction of seeking freedom in maintaining cars, but other areas cannot easily secure such conditions. To guarantee a high maintenance standard in those areas, the best policy is to use a car that can be repaired with simple tools and does not involve many complicated electronic parts. Different methods to secure freedom are necessary under different conditions. In this way, freedom concerning cars alone involves various aspects, which shows how complicated it is to try to be free.
   The 20th century was the century of motorization. During the last century, the scope of humankind freedom was widely expanded by automobiles. Recent situations in the early 21st century indicate that this trend is sure to be developed particularly in areas centering on such as China. An accumulation of traded-off freedom behind the trend of motorization can be specified at various levels. From the perspective of the entire society, freedom concerning the natural environment and security will be put at the head of traded-off freedom.
   Dennet’s book points out “One of the few uncontroversial propositions in ethics, deserving its own simple slogan, is “ought implies can” ---you are only obligated to do something you are able to do.” (*3). Responsibility is inseparable from capability. You cannot take responsibility for what you cannot do. At least, capability is a necessary condition for responsibility. The expansion of freedom is based on the expansion of capability. Therefore, it is highly possible that the expansion of freedom involves the expansion of responsibility. When asked “Which is free, to be free from responsibility or to take responsibility for something?” many people would answer that the former is a free state. In this sense, responsibility is the opposite of freedom. The freedom of being free from responsibility and obtaining freedom based on greater capability by taking responsibility for something is a typical form of traded-off freedom. The freedom of realizing motorization causes people to take responsibility for safety and the environment. That responsibility is becoming more and more serious as cars become more common. Now, we are standing at a crossroads where we have to break down tradeoff structures and give up on motorization or we have to establish technologically and institutionally higher-level controlling ability for the environment and safety to take greater responsibility for them. With much consideration given to the current situation, it is certain that we have to choose the second scenario.
   Motorization is just one example. Humankind has taken huge responsibility for every technological field. Atomic energy is a typical example. In this way, humankind has taken full responsibility not only for itself but also for the entire global environment. Humankind even has responsibility for keeping nature as it is. History has never seen such a situation in which human beings as a species takes full responsibility for the entire environment since the birth of life on earth. It is absolutely certain that we are standing at a crossroads in the history of our planet.
   From the perspective of life on earth, we are expected to develop technologies based on life science in the future. We are also likely to make progress in robot engineering. In addition, the anticipation is that genetic modification and cyborg technologies may provide humankind with the capability to explore space. Today, information control systems at every level, such as genetic-level control systems completed in nature over billions of years, cerebral nervous control systems developed over hundreds of millions of years, language systems nurtured over millions of years and science technologies dramatically progressed over hundreds of years, are about to be integrated beyond the barriers among natural hierarchical levels. We are gaining the ability to be involved in the way life is and the definition of life itself just beyond the level of simply controlling life mechanisms. Our level of freedom is going to reach that far. We are about to even take responsibility for the way life is.
   For these technologies, humankind in general does not act for abstract nature to abstractly obtain capabilities, freedom and responsibility. These practices are always mediated by some kind of social system and realized at the individual level. The expansion of these capabilities may provide several people with the realization of dreams they have not imagined. That may be of some help to resolve social handicaps, but it also involves some room for possibly causing serious gaps among people. We cannot overlook that the realization of freedom through the expansion of capabilities causes greater responsibility for social problems.

(6) Power and Freedom

Post World War II critical thinking about freedom is based on how to tackle threats of fascism and how to eliminate totalitarianism. Social movements in the 20th century have experienced oppression, political purges and irrational control in the name of socialism. Both communists and anti-communists controlled people using oppressive power systems.
   In accordance with this reasoning, many people think that discussions about freedom should focus on emancipation from oppressive power. Fundamentally, the freedom theory, particularly since the modern age, emerged and developed as an idea for emancipation from feudal political power. In that context, the principle of individuals with freedom, who are free from compulsion and conventions, was established.
   In this sense, power and freedom are contradictory to each other. Of course, power is a kind of force. It is a sheer form of force executed by policymakers based on the background of physical forces, such as military and police, and information-processing ability and the power of possession. However, I argue in this study that freedom is a form of force. The question is if this logic and my argument are contradictory to each other. In this context, freedom means the emancipation from power control.
   In fact, emancipation from something requires power. The maintenance and development of free society also requires power. The liberation of people and the establishment of democracy mean giving power to people. Power is not limited to only the military and police. Power also belongs to the mass media, demonstrations, strikes and thoughts. The biggest threat to people is people or the isolation from people rather than their fear of the military and police. Both regime factions and dissidents try to gain the utmost power. The military and police are also part of the people and when people unite in dissident groups, the military and police are afraid of them. Freedom as the emancipation from oppressive power structures is supported by a kind of power in a broad sense. To put this thought another way, the power of dictators supports freedom in a sense. That is, it supports the freedom for the dictator and his cohort group who enjoy privileges. In addition, freedom usually involves tradeoffs of other freedoms. The freedom of speech and the freedom of political and economic activities are traded off and in other cases, the freedom of living is traded off. Conversely, various forms of freedom for the dictator are traded off for the sake of the freedom of speech and other activities for many ordinary people. In accordance with this reasoning, the Iraq War was a war for freedom. It is a war for the freedom for the sake of some groups of people and some profits. For that purpose, the freedom of life for ordinary people living in peace and the freedom for many soldiers are traded off, as well as the freedom for the dictator.
   Some people probably present the counterargument that it is not a true form of freedom. At least in this paper, I do not intend to focus on what true freedom is. As I mentioned above, I intend to examine the ontology of freedom in this study. In this context, I seek to approach freedom as a mode of existence. The subject of true freedom is in the realm of ought-issues. Therefore, I can just say here that there are various freedoms in a multilayered way. There are many different kinds of insects in the world and it does not make any sense to think what a true insect is. In the same sense, it is nonsense to ontologically think what true freedom is. There may be a form of freedom that is quite commonplace and not worth seriously contemplating. Or there may be a lofty form of freedom aiming at the “association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” (*4) Any of these are forms of freedom. What can exist is form of freedom as a mode at specific hierarchical levels of specific people under specific conditions. Therefore, I feel quite dubious about the abstract slogan of “For the sake of Freedom” without any premise conditions.
   With regard to the phrase “freedom of the people” and “power of the people,” fundamentally, the term the people is an abstract comprehensive concept. What can be highlighted by the term within the concept is only in a particular political context and if the subject is placed out of the focus into a general context, it may just become nonsense. In this context, the liberation of the people means the minimum level of freedom, that is, the starting point for the pursuit of freedom. There are many challenges, including what power and authority should be given to those who represent the people.
   Essentially, power can emerge due to its uneven distribution. In society, various levels of power are unevenly scattered and realistically it is impossible to completely resolve the unevenness. The uneven distribution of forms of freedom causes many different problems concerning freedom and inconvenience. If no measures are taken, the imbalance tends to become more serious. The imbalance concerning possession particularly has a higher tendency to be serious. Whether or not society can control the situation depends on social capability and in this context, the freedom at that level exists and responsibility emerges.

Here, I end my argument about the objective concept of freedom, that is, my analyses of freedom as a mode of existence. The subject is too broad and leaves too many unexplored questions. The subject is exceedingly grand if considered deeply. The argument presented in this study is just a tentative assumption.
   What should be seriously considered in terms of four-dimensional space-time philosophy is not these objective analyses but freedom from a subjective perspective in the following section, that is, freedom relating to the ought-proposition.

(*1) Refer to Daniel C. Dennett (2003), Freedom Evolves, translated by Hiroo Yamagata (2005), NTT Shuppan

(*2) Ibid.

(*3) Ibid., p296., translated: p410

(*4) Karl Marx (1848) The Communist Manifesto, Chapter II. Proletarians and Communists

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