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Stallman, Nussbaum, and Sen: putting "freedom" in context

Luis Villa

Our movement rarely talks about freedom with much philosophical nuance. In this talk, I try to put some flesh on the bones of freedom by giving an introduction to Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's capability approach, and applying it to software. The capability approach (sometimes called the human development approach) is a framework for thinking about human freedom that, since its development in the early 90s, has been applied across a broad range of philosophical, economic, and policy problems. Focused on what options a person has to reach their goals, it is well-suited for understanding where we succeed - and fail! - at actually freeing people.

Talk attendees should come away with a more nuanced understanding of software freedom, how to talk about it with others, and where to focus their coding energy to best increase human freedom.

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3 years, 8 months ago

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LibrePlanet 2016 video · LibrePlanet 2016 · LibrePlanet · lp2016 · video

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Stallman, Nussbaum, and Sen: putting "freedom" in context (libreplanet) · LibrePlanet 2016 Videos (libreplanet)

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CC BY 3.0

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This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.

libreplanet.org


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.

gnu.org/important


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.

gnu.org/not-open-source


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.

gnu.org/gnu-begin


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.

gnu.org/gnu-and-linux


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.