Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Resolution? Free Will!

Well, not really a resolution, but you get the idea...here's an excerpt, courtesy of Scientific American, from an article discussing the issue of free will and why the author (correctly!) believes in it:
But in his 2003 book Freedom Evolves, Dennett lays out a sensible, down-to-earth view of free will. He notes, first, that free will is “not what tradition declares it to be: a God-like power to exempt oneself from the causal fabric of the physical world.” Free will is simply our ability to perceive, mull over and act upon choices; in fact, choice, or even freedom, are reasonable synonyms for free will.
It's not an overly challenging article, more light-hearted than deep.  But it's informative and interesting, and recommended.  By the way, if you're interested in serious philosophizing about this and related topics, basically anything written by Dan Dennett is excellent. [ht: realclearscience.com]