London Lectures

Individual Freedom in the Post Pandemic Era

Heisook Kim examines the conflict between the right to pursue individual freedom and the moral obligation to keep your community safe.

A column published in the French business daily Les Echos last April under the title “COVID-19 and tracking: let’s not sacrifice our individual liberties” said that the Korean administrative policy of tracing the movements of confirmed cases and opening the information of traces to the public was the worst case in terms of the respect for individual freedom.

In the age of COVID-19, we are witnessing the conflict between the right to pursue individual freedom and the moral obligation to keep the community and the neighbors safe from the dissemination of virus. This conflict often is manifested in instituting policies concerning wearing masks and building a tracking system.

Heisook Kim observed an interesting contrast between the East and the West concerning the public conception of individual freedom. In this talk, she argues that individual freedom is a moot concept being in need of wider contextual approach in analysis. She examines various contexts including the contemporary digital culture in order to better understand where we are in view of individual freedom.

  • Speaker

    Dr. Heisook Kim is the 16th President of Ewha Womans University. Dr. Heisook Kim received her BA and MA from Ewha Womans University. Upon completing her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Chicago, she returned to Ewha as a professor in the philosophy department, where she has taught since 1987. Dr. Kim’s philosophical interest has been focused on philosophical methodologies and comparative studies between the intellectual traditions of the East and the West. Dr. Kim has successively filled leading posts in national, as well as international academic societies of philosophy including President of the Korean Philosophical Association. She served as a committee director of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and as one of nine board members of the International Association of Women Philosophers.

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