dimanche 8 août 2010

Free Will?

My First Act of Free Will:

Jonah Lerher meditates on free will at The Frontal Cortex:

"The British philosopher Galen Strawson doesn’t think much of free will. His argument is fairly straightforward. It goes something like this:

1) I do what I do because of the way I am. If I want to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast, or listen to Blonde on Blonde, it’s because I prefer, at this moment, the taste of that cereal and the sound of that album.

2) If I’m going to be responsible for my choices, then I also have to be responsible for the way I am.

3) But I’m not responsible for the way I am! At some point, my wants and needs – the stew of factors behind my preferences – are beyond my control. They’ve been programmed by natural selection and embedded in my genes; they’ve been influenced by my parents, and shaped by my siblings and peers and all those commercials on television.

4) Ergo, I can’t be ultimately responsible for my choices. I don’t want Cheerios because I want them. Instead, my preferences have been shaped by a million little forces that have nothing to do with me. I can’t be the cause of myself."