What is freedom?

What is freedom?

While there are many ways to answer this question, you need to clearly state ONE specific and clearly detailed response to this question (which is an attempt to encapsulate the theme for the entire semester). There are a myriad of questions which can be asked to approach this question. Consider such questions as: What is not freedom? What restrictions and limitations to freedom are there in a civilized society? Who determines what freedom is? Who determines what freedoms are denied? Where does freedom come from? Is freedom even important?

These questions, and others you might form on your own, are to help you address the prompt. These questions are not a list of required responses which must be included, but are rather food for thought. You should not attempt to answer all these questions.

Your essay must grapple with the influences of any three of the authors examined during the course of our studies this semester. You must include their respective worldviews and the historical conditions in which they wrote. In other words, you need to contextualize their ideas, answering the question with historical awareness and nuance. Moreover, your essay must form a coherent treatment of the different authors’ approaches and ideas, not merely a series of disconnected analyses.

Your primary source readings are focused on those texts assigned in class, but you must read more broadly in order to answer the question adequately. You should draw on at least three secondary sources both to gain additional information about the primary authors’ historical contexts, and to gain insight into, and interpretation of, the primary authors’ ideas. Your secondary sources must be scholarly, that is, peer-reviewed books, chapters, or journal articles. Websites like, wiki-anything, and even a history professor’s webpage, are not peer-reviewed and so are NOT permitted sources for your paper. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy are not permitted web-based sources for this final paper. If you find other electronic sources that seem helpful, ensure that they’re peer-reviewed before relying on them, and inform your instructor in advance. If there’s nothing saying that the site is peer-reviewed, it isn’t.

Your final draft of Essay 3 is due via SafeAssign by 11:59 pm on the date listed on the schedule. The paper should be between 850-950 words, excluding quotes, title page, and bibliography. You may use MLA, APA, or Chicago style, as set forth in Hacker & Sommers 7th or 8th edition, for your citations and bibliography. However, those majoring or minoring within the Department of History & Political Thought are encouraged to use Chicago style so as to become familiar with the standard format for History papers. Your title page should have the following information: your name, the due date, what time your section meets, and a word count for your paper. Please submit your paper in Word (.doc or .docx) format ONLY.

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