Out of solidarity with thousands of high school students called upon to stake out the mythical philosophy test, we have focused this year on one of the subjects proposed for the technological sector. Between “Does freedom consist in obeying no one? “, “Is it right to defend your rights by all means? » in dissertation and a commentary by The encyclopedia of Diderot, it is the first option that caught our attention. A guaranteed exercise without pearls and on time.
By Clément Barbier, class kid
Freedom, what a vague notion! The free man, opposed to any sort of deterministic and fatalistic doctrine, is the one who frees himself from all constraint, who can boast of his most total independence. He is the one who does not depend on anyone or anything. But what limits should be given to this freedom? Freedom to act? Freedom of thought ? By contrast, this notion should be put into perspective with that of obedience, which recalls a certain submission to an entity. In short, it is appropriate to ask whether freedom and obedience can be interdependent. Initially, we will see that freedom consists, in fact, in disregarding all obedience. We will then analyze to what extent freedom is also associated with obedience, in order to draw the necessary conclusions.
In the event that freedom consists in discarding all constraint, then in effect, obeying no one is a key condition of said freedom. Obey not only “nobody” as an individual, but also as a concept. Concerning the so-called “human” aspect of obedience, the free man is, by definition, totally willing to ignore external instructions. A great philosopher, Didier Deschamps, confided his complete freedom of thought in the publication SoFoot. “If you win, you are right, whatever you have done” , he defended himself. It is a thought of its own. True or not, he does not obey any principle, while a counterpart could expose him to the contrary opinion, assuming that it is possible to be wrong by having won or right despite a defeat. But it is up to Deschamps to think so and no one will be able to oppose what he thinks in this way.
And then, the freedom to act is also an ode to disobedience. In February 2021, Brest goalkeeper Sébastien Cibois attempted a daring dribble on Lyonnais Lucas Paquetá. As a result, he had the ball stolen by the Brazilian, who only had to push him into the empty cage, and precipitated the defeat of his people. “We had spoken with Sébastien about this kind of hooks. Obviously, it didn’t hit the head. Mistakes, we will have to accept them” , later declared his trainer, Olivier Dall’Oglio. Proof that freedom consists in obeying no one, since despite the constraint that Cibois was forbidden to have fun in this way, the doorman disobeyed. And it was his responsibility, his freedom to do so.
Conversely, several leads suggest that freedom and obedience can coexist. For example, Mauricio Pochettino is a totally free man. Factually, nothing prevents him from replacing Kylian Mbappé or Lionel Messi after an absolutely infamous 60 minutes. And yet, it is as if an external force defended him from it. And this is the case: the coach is subject to the talent of his players who can unblock a situation at any time, subject to the demands of these same players who, by virtue of their status, allow themselves a whim by being replaced. Subject to contractual conditions, too. Despite these constraints, the coach, in fact, always has the possibility of replacing his important players. The trainer is therefore free, while necessarily having to obey certain constraints, certain people.
Sport also stands out as a perfect example of the link between freedom and obedience. The nature of football is that freedom is intimately linked to a sense of obedience. By definition, obeying your trainer, your hierarchy. To win, you have to follow instructions, a game plan, tactics, devices, roles, positions. And from these many constraints and requirements will come the freedom of the players on the field. Freedom to think by analyzing that it is better to send a pass to so and so than to shoot, and freedom to act, consequence, in this context, of that of thinking.
In short, the free man is willing not to obey, but exposes himself to consequences and reprisals. This is, in a way, the definition of dilettantism: it is based on constant freedom. He who lives as a dilettante likes to have the monopoly of his freedom, and has nothing to do with external remarks. He lives for him, takes on the role of the free man, disobedient by nature and subject to constraints overshadowing his freedom which he will circumvent.
So, wouldn’t the incarnation of this problem be the character of Memphis Depay? The conclusion of this reflection is that the deepest freedom actually consists in disregarding any external entity, since nothing and no one prevents the free man from acting or thinking. But if an element comes to obstruct the way of the free man, this last has the means to preserve his freedom in spite of foreign aspects come to disturb it. Blind and deaf to the world, “blind and deaf to the world” , likes to repeat the Batave at will. A kind of freedom that he grants himself despite the constraints imposed by the world.
PS: If a philosophy teacher wants to offer us a corrected, we are takers!
By Clément Barbier, class kid