Dimitris Vardoulakis (Western Sydney University) is the author of The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (2010), Sovereignty and its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (2013), Freedom from the Free Will: On Kafka’s Laughter (2016), and Stasis Before the Stattle: Nine Theses on Agonistic Democracy (2017).
He has also edited or co-edited numerous books, including Spinoza Now (2011) and Sparks Will Fly: Benjamin and Heidegger (2015). He is the director of “Thinking Out Loud: The Sydney Lectures in Philosophy and Society” and the co-editor of the “Incitements” book series published by Edinburgh University Press.
Kafka’s Secret Freedom
Franz Kafka was one of the most important modernist authors who has inspired some of the most important philosopher of the last century, such as Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida.
However, Kafka has often been viewed as a pessimist because his characters appear to be imprisoned in situations beyond their control – they appear to lack freedom.
In my book Freedom From the Free Will: On Kafka’s Laughter, I argue that this is a false perception. Kafka uses humor to critique prevalent forms of conceiving freedom and implicitly proposes a different conception of freedom that does not rely on the free will. Here, I will present some aspects of this alternative conception of freedom