Freedom in Modern Society

Course Code Offering Department(s) Units & Hours
GCVM1017 REL (3,2,1)
Download the course syllabus

What is the course about?

GCVM1017 will discuss the moral foundation of freedom and the ethical issues related to the ideas of freedom in the modern free society. First, the history of liberty and tolerance will be sketched. Then different concepts of freedom, e.g., negative and positive freedom, will be explained through discussions of the prominent philosophers like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Isaiah Berlin, and Charles Taylor. Different theories of freedom from both secular and religious perspectives (such as secular liberalism, conservatism, Confucianism and Christianity) will also be expounded and compared. Finally, this course will help students identify, understand and reflect on ethical issues such as freedom, democracy and tyranny, the scope of freedom and the limits of coercion (the harm principle), the balance or tension between freedom of individuals and responsibility towards society, and ethical dilemmas related to religious freedom, pornography and the limits of press freedom.


Notes for all GE courses

  • You can take a maximum of 6 additional units of GE courses from any categories as electives.