Armin G. Wildfeuer:
An Order of Freedom. The Dialectic of Reason and Freedom as a Central Problem of European Modernity (lecture),
Conference: Religion and the Contemporary World (Qom-Vienna Professors Meeting), at Ghom/Iran, 21.8.2014
I speak as a philosopher about the problem of the dialectical relation between our ideas of ” reason ” and ” freedom ” which determines the western idea of (political, spiritual, scientific, ethical, personal etc.) ” order “. In the history of ideas there are three rational orders, which must be seen as related to each other: the natural order of the cosmos, the divine order of god, and the intellectual, scientific , or political orders of the human beings. All orders have their own rationality. In modern times, any order is acceptable only when (as long as) it is the result of rational considerations and free decision. The dialectic of freedom and reason is considered as the origin of any order, which is acceptable, rationally and morally justifiable (like the order of the state, the order of science, the order of economy, the order of law, etc). In other words: according to the intellectual development of Western thought, every order must be a rational order of freedom. – I try to explain which philosophical developments lead to this result in form of a short history of ideas. In addition, I hope the contemporary self-conception and the identity of the Western people
can be better understood in front of this historical background.