My dissertation, Freedom’s Spontaneity, is about spontaneous freedom—the freedom of unscripted activity that “free spirits” enjoy. While the freedom of spontaneity has often been disregarded in contemporary philosophical discussions, which have focused instead on the freedom of autonomy, deliberation, and choice, I argue that spontaneous freedom is a valuable form of freedom that enables us to feel that we are among the sources of novelty and creativity in the world. We must adjust our moral theories in order to accommodate the value of spontaneous freedom. I further argue that the study of spontaneous freedom has implications for politics: states should promote spontaneous freedom by providing the material and social preconditions for us to feel that our lives could head in unanticipated directions. [full dissertation abstract] [dissertation]
Citation: Jonathan Gingerich, Freedom’s Spontaneity.” PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2019.