Pandemic as Polemic: Free Will in an Age of Restrictions?
Inserting the discourse within an existentialist framework, this paper examines our existence of interrupted realities through the lens of Kierkegaardian thoughts and also draws on Simone de Beauvoir’s “Qu’est-ce que l’existentialisme?” (1947). As we navigate a surrealist time of COVID-19 (ab)normal, the lingering pandemic has left an impact on a both societal and psychosocial level. With societies across the globe facing continuous restrictions, what happens to free will? De Beauvoir defines our raison d’être as the individual having reality “only through his engagement in the world”. In this period of limited individual freedom, can we still talk of free will and how shall we engage with this all-pervasive, rule-changing pandemic ‘New Normal’?
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