Philosophical Films:

"She's Gotta Have It"

The Philosophical Connection

Spike Lee's film presents the difficulties that a young woman faces when she tries to live her own life according to her own preferences and desires. While in the realm of politics autonomy is now generally considered an unquestionable principle, in the area of intimate relationships lovers often still do their very best to manipulate and controle the lives of their partners. Lovers generally do not like freedom in their relationships: they prefer commitment and restraint.

Freedom is the inner theme of "She's Gotta Have It," and it is the main topic of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. The following lecture maps out the philosophical and historical background of the Enlightenment idea of personal autonomy and being one's self. (It is thematically related to the lecture on Emerson and to "Play It Again, Sam.")

Kant: Self-Determination in the Age of Reason

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