Deutsche Welle: Professor Höffe, you recently published a new book titled "Kritik der Freiheit" (Critique of Freedom). How do you define freedom?

Professor Otfried Höffe: There are two aspects, two polar opposites to my definition of freedom, and they complement each other. On the one hand, freedom encompasses the concept of being independent of heteronomy, the notion of being controlled or dictated by others. On the other hand, freedom also means having the right and the ability to lead your life according to your own agenda.

DW: Is your definition of freedom applicable to cultures other than those in the Western hemisphere, or is this kind of freedom a privilege reserved for the West?

Höffe: The pursuit of freedom is a universal privilege. People from all walks of life and down through the ages have always yearned for freedom and have always tried to combat every form of repression - and they still do. Everyone has a right to hold a degree of freedom compatible with the degree of freedom allowed to be exercised by everyone else.

Read the complete original version of this item...