This is not a comprehensive treatise on freedom. Freedom came up in two unlikely places recently, a string quartet last night and again in a bible study this morning (see below), so I got to thinking about it and put together the following random thoughts I found on the web.
The Declaration of Independence, 1776
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

While World War II raged on beyond the borders of the United States, President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented his State of the Union address on January 6, 1941. The address is known as the Four Freedoms speech due to the four freedoms articulated by Roosevelt in the speechs closing:
  freedom of speech and expression
  freedom of religion
  freedom from want, and
  freedom from fear.
See Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" |

Responsibility and Freedom, John Dewey, 1908

"The more comprehensive and diversified the social order, the greater the responsibility and the freedom of the individual. His freedom is the greater, because the more numerous are the effective stimuli to action, and the more varied and the more certain the ways in which he may fulfill his powers. His responsibility is greater because there are more demands for considering the consequences of his acts; and more agencies for bringing home to him the recognition of consequences which affect not merely more persons individually, but which also influence the more remote and hidden social ties."

John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690

To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man. A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.

I recently went to a string quartet performance of Brahms Symphony No. 3 in in F major.
They introduced it with this story.

"A musical motto consisting of three notes, F-A-flat-F, was significant to Brahms. In 1853 his friend Joseph Joachim, a Hungarian violinist, conductor, composer and teacher, had taken as his motto "Free, but lonely", in German, Frei aber einsam, and from the notes represented by the first letters of these words, F-A-E, Schumann, Brahms and Dietrich had jointly composed a violin sonata dedicated to Joachim.
At the time of the Third Symphony, Brahms was a fifty-year-old bachelor who declared himself to be Frei aber froh, "Free but Happy". His F-A-F motto, and some altered variations of it, can be heard throughout the symphony.
Joachim's moto "Free, but lonely" was the most thought provoking of all the items here. When you think about it to be truly free you must get rid of the responsibility for the needs of other people, friends, family, community, around you. Most will give up a little freedom for the happiness of companionship.

The next day my men's bible study used 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

There is also John 3:31-38

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.".

Janis Joplin's Me & Bobby McGee

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, Nothin' don't mean nothin', honey, if it ain't free.

Schellings Treatise: On Essence Human Freedom, 1985
John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690 Freedom from Loneliness: 52 Ways To Stop Feeling Lonely

Philosophical Inquiries into the Essence of Human Freedom - Wikipedia
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" |
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness - Wikipedia
Four Freedoms - RationalWiki
20th WCP: Freedom and Equality in the Comparison of Political Systems

last updated 15 July 2014