Freedom F2
A anthropomorphized image (Ѻ) of a valence shell electron breaking loose from its orbital and gaining freedom (see also: free electron).
In terminology, freedom, a state of existence associated with being free or feeling free, is a term that frequently comes up when viewing humanity as a system of chemicals governed by physical and chemical laws of operation.

Goethe | Elective Affinities

The following famous quote by German polymath Johann Goethe, the founder of human chemistry, gives one perspective on individual human freedom:

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

This motto is capture pictorially by Belgian surrealist artist by René Magritte oil on canvas painting "Elective Affinities (1933)" based on construct of Goethe's 1809 novella Elective Affinities.

The following is an example 1997 use by German literature professor Kevin Yee in discussing German polymath Johann Goethe’s 1809 Elective Affinities: [1]

“The implied ‘correct’ outcome of the human reaction (a simple exchange of partners), which was predicted much like a chemical reaction, is avoided because the Captain is a catalyst and not a normal reactant … [Goethe’s] presentation of the Captain, the wild card in the mix of reactants, saves for humanity the possibility of freedom.”

Although Yee's assertion here is incorrect, namely the Captain was not conceived as a catalyst (Mittler the mediator played this roll), but rather as a reactant, we do see mention or discussion of "freedom" in respect to chemical reaction.
Egg in cage
Rene Magritte’s 1933 painting “Elective Affinities”, characterizes the perspective that although one is born free or may, at times, feel free, one is always “caged” by the force of chemical affinity.

In Goethe’s novella, the characters, and in implication all of humanity, were said to be governed by the dynamics of reactions between individuals regulated by the chemical affinities of the following governing equation:

 A =  T \Delta S - \Delta H \,

The first connected use of the discussion of "freedom" in the context of human chemistry, was in the 1871 coining of the term 'social molecule', a collective of people viewed as an aggregate of human particles or human atoms, by English biologist Thomas Huxley: [2]

“Every society, great or small, resembles ... a complex molecule, in which the atoms are represented by men, possessed of all those multifarious attractions and repulsions which are manifested in their desires and volitions, the unlimited power of satisfying which we call freedom ... the social molecule exists in virtue of the renunciation of more or less of this freedom by every individual. It is decomposed, when the attraction of desire leads to the resumption of that freedom the expression of which is essential to the existence of the social molecule. The great problem of social chemistry we call politics, is to discover what desires of mankind may be gratified, and what must be suppressed, if the highly complex compound, society, is to avoid decomposition.”

(add discussion)

Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World
See main: Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World; Rossini debate
The topic of freedom, in a similar sense came up again in the famous 1971-2006 Rossini debate between American chemistry professors Harold Leonard, John Wojcik, and Todd Silverstein, on the legitimacy of American chemical thermodynamicist Frederick Rossini’s political thermodynamics arguments, expressed in his 1971 Priestley Medal address “Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World”, in which Rossini argued that the first and second laws of thermodynamics could be used to understand the paradox between freedom and security in social life, as understood through enthalpy and entropy changes in society, whose central message from his address was: [3]

“The picture we have developed from thermodynamics is very simple: One cannot have a maximum of freedom and a maximum of security at the same time. If there is a maximum of freedom, there will be zero security.”

Rossini argues, similar to Goethe, that paradox between freedom and security can be explained using the following equation, which is a form of the combined law of thermodynamics:

\ \ln K = - \frac{\Delta H^\circ}{R} \left (   \frac{1}{T} \right ) + \frac{\Delta S^\circ}{R}
Humans seek to maximize their freedom (Nordholm, 1997)
A section from Swedish physical chemist Sture Nordholm's 1997 article “In Defense of Thermodynamics: an Animate Analogy”on human freedom and chemical thermodynamics. [4]

Interestingly, as we see, both Goethe and Rossini believe that the feeling of freedom felt by a person can be understood in terms of enthalpy changes ΔH and entropy changes ΔS of individual human chemical reactions in the context of the coupled reactions of the social group or system.

The following are related quotes:

“To deny the freedom of the will is to make morality impossibility.”
James Froude (1871), “Calvinism”, Mar 17 [5]

See also
Surface/mass ‘longevity’ – Discussion (2009)

1. (a) Yee, Kevin F. (1997). “The Captain as Catalyst in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften” (abstract). JEGP 96: 58-70.
(b) Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics (pgs. 196-97). Camden House.
2. (a) Huxley, Thomas. (1871). “Administrative Nihilism”, Fortnightly Review, pg. 536. Nov.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule, (preview). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
3. (a) Rossini, Frederick D. (1971). "Priestly Medal Address: Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World". Chem. Eng. News., April 5, 49 (14): 50-53, American Chemical Society.
(b) ElieL, Ernest L. (1999). “Frederick Dominic Rossini: 1899-1990, A Biographical Memoir” (Priestly Medal, freedom vs. security, pg. 14). Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 77. National Academy of Sciences.
(c) Anon. (2008). “The Priestley Medalists, 1923-2008.”, Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 86, No. 14, pgs. 60-61, Apr 07.
(d) Priestley Medal – Wikipedia.
4. Nordholm, Sture. (1997). “In Defense of Thermodynamics: an Animate Analogy” (abs) (GB), Journal of Chemical Education, 74: 273-75.
5.Froude, James. (1871). “Calvinism” (Ѻ)(Ѻ), Address to Students at St. Andress, Mar 17.

Further reading
● Chen, Jing. (2008). “Understanding Social Systems: A Free Energy Perspective”, September, 16. pgs. 1-10. Social Science Resource Network.

External links
Freedom – Wikipedia.

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