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Dostoyevsky and Sartres Perspectives about Freedom

Dostoyevsky and Sartres Perspectives about Freedom

Dostoyevsky explores the moral and psychological aspects of freedom. According to him, freedom is intertwined with free will and moral responsibility. Dostoyevsky shows that individual choices have consequences, and most people grapple with the guilt that results from such actions (Fink, 2014). He proves his point based on the struggles the characters of his works undergo, evidence that there could be an underlying nature of their actions and the consequences of their freedom. Based on the consequences people face when they have freedom, Dostoyevsky shows that people are constantly seeking to get rid of freedom as soon as they find it (Fink, 2014). Freedom comes with a terrible cost, and social movements do all they can to help people get rid of freedom. Dostoyevsky does not welcome uncontrolled freedom without a moral framework to guide people’s actions.

On the other hand, Sartre offers a more optimistic viewpoint about freedom. According to Sartre, people are naturally free (Odesanmi, 2008). Although people should be morally responsible for their choices, there is no predetermined human nature or essence. Sartre does not subscribe to the notion of a moral order established by God. It is incumbent upon people to determine their moral constraints and pursue them without external influence (Odesanmi, 2008). Unlike Dostoyevsky, who is concerned with the dangers of exercising freedom without a moral foundation, Sartre is more receptive to absolute freedom free of predetermined values.

Whereas Dostoyevsky is concerned about freedom without moral guidelines, Sartre is more receptive to absolute freedom accompanied by individual responsibility. Sartre rejects the influence of external moral influences. I believe that external moral constraints are vital when practicing freedom. Just like Dostoyevsky infers, one will not be worried about the adverse consequences of their actions as long as they align with external moral constraints.


Fink, R. P. (2014). Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov, and Freedom in Crime and Punishment.

Odesanmi, A. C. (2008). Jean-Paul Sartre and the concept of determinism. Global Journal of             Humanities7(1&2), 85-89.


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What are we do think of freedom, given what Dostoyevsky and Sartre have to say about it?

Dostoyevsky and Sartres Perspectives about Freedom

Dostoyevsky and Sartre’s Perspectives about Freedom

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