Freedom! Justice! Power! Truth!
Seminars in Estonian Academy of Arts Design Faculty
April 4th –May 2nd 2017

To tackle the hottest issues of the day bombarding us via a myriad of media channels, a series of spring-time lectures was organised at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Together with political scientist Florian Marcus, design and art students went in-depth into some of the most significant societal ideas: freedom, justice, power and truth.

Students were asked to challenge both themselves and others, to play “devil’s advocate“. They were also encouraged to connect topics to the field of art and design. The accompanying texts gave participants a foundational understanding of the issues discussed without giving away the answers to the problems.

Florian Marcus is a German political scientist living in Estonia. He graduated from the University of Reading (BA Politics and International Relations) in 2014 and University College London & University of Tartu (Double MA Economy, State, and Society) in 2016. He is currently working as an adviser to the Government Office of Estonia.
Topic: FREEDOM, April 4th 2017

Freedom as a theoretical and philosophical concept. Competing understandings of what freedom contains (freedom from, freedom to) and whether it exists at all. What role do our biological needs and physiological instincts play? Where does freedom start and end?

Suggested reading: Kane, R. (2005). A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
To consider while reading: the role of determinism and whether people can be held accountable for their actions; if not, what does that mean for rule of law?
Topic: JUSTICE , April 18th 2017

Different understandings of justice. Does a laudable goal justify the means and, if not, where is the breaking point? Is justice relative or total? Who decides what is just and what is not?

Suggested reading: Wolff, J. (2006). An Introduction to Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
To consider while reading: the issue of affirmative action opening the discourse of treating different people differently and holding them to different standards. Is this discrimination harmful or beneficial?
Topic: POWER, April 25th, 2017

Different approaches to power, with regard to the schools of realism, liberalism, and social constructivism. How we can measure power, can inaction be considered an action, should it, and do some types of power matter more than others?

Suggested reading: Baylis, J. and Smith, S. (2013). The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
To consider while reading: the drawbacks of the different political theories. Which sounds the most realistic and applicable in today’s world?
Topic: TRUTH, May 2nd, 2017

The value of claiming truthfulness. How does this change our public perception? Does it grant us more power and make us more just?

Suggested reading: Wolff, J. (2006). An Introduction to Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
To consider while reading: what’s our understanding of the word “democracy” is and whether it corresponds with the philosophical approaches.

Kristjan Mändmaa

Estonian Academy of Arts

Tallinn, Estonia

Fields of Action
It sets a stage on which diverse actors can come together and democratically collaborate in shaping their present and future world. It engages diverse people and publics in co-design and co-production processes concerning different aspects of their everyday life.
It increases the opportunities for citizens to participate in deliberative processes. It focuses on transparency (which enables citizens to be aware of the on-going process of governance) and deliberative methods (which is the opportunity to be better involved in decision making processes).