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Fragment 144, word count: 442.

Freedom is a fundamental function of teleological ideality, which is to say, of personality. Personality is the spontaneous creation of freedom in a poise toward an indefinite variety of possible actions in alternative futures. Personality experiences its ideality as freedom because it encompasses in advance, from within its own creativity, personally invented alternative possibilities for agency, the creation of novel alternatives and possibilities in the construction of a life. Personality lives and orients itself among mostly non-actualities in a playing field of non-actual time. These non-actualities are features of the orientation and bearing of some particular embodied ideality. Personality depends on sensitivity, on a gaze beyond itself, but it is not a strictly sensory gaze. The gaze of any teleological ideality goes through and beyond sensed actuality to an undetermined futurity where different actions and courses of development are conceived as possibilities among variously judged probabilities. Ideality experiences freedom in its gaze (and its bearing) into a non-actual dimension of possible futures, pathways, and plans with always room for the invention of more. The supra-sensory gaze is always expressive of at least curiosity, and curiosity is already an agency. The gaze is an agency, a projection, a searching and a judging, but is also the matrix of creation for new actualities, interventions into the world of things, and so of agency that is specifically expressive of knowledge, intent, decision, and caring. Consciousness is this gaze of ideality, the anticipatory ideation of agency in the moments to come, full of ideas, a fountain of teleological possibilities in a creative arc of developmental continuity that is a personality in the living of an embodied life.

The human nature we recognize here is a fountain of ideas and inventions, goods to be expressed and projected in the making of lived actuality. Value, experience of gratification, is not something that comes from outside the individual, as is assumed in the concept of ‘economic man’, the blank slate or sucking void vision of human nature. Neither freedom nor value depend on access to competitions for properties, consumables, sparkles, or titles, and so is not a product of commerce, the retail, design, or manufacturing industries, for example. Value experience is in expressing the interior creative fountain. Freedom does not require abandonment or suppression of empathy (Kant’s universal maxims are formal expressions of empathy), getting beyond the rule of (Kantian) law, or taking up weapons to become the most effective force for looting trophies. Freedom is ideality, the existence of individual embodied personality. Subsequent to Freud, the scientific imperative is to create a psychology without ideality, but freedom is indiscernible to any such psychology.

Copyright © 2019 Sandy MacDonald.