[lit-ideas] Re: Do You Have Free Will?

  • From: "Walter C. Okshevsky" <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 20:23:39 -0230

Somebody somewhere put it quite well. Paraphrasing:  When I'm deliberating about
what to do I am not trying to predict what I will do. Thus is freedom of the
will a necessary condition for the very possibility of rationally choosing,
deciding, inquiring, etc.. Whether finite, fallible beings such as we are
*really* have free will is, as the Russians say: "Nye riba nye myasa." The
question, in other words is quite otiose. Das heisst: you have to decide and we
want your decision within 24 hours (and you better be right). Everything else is

Cheers, Walter 

Quoting Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>:

> It's obvious that every philosopher lives her or his life just like all 
> of us, worrying, planning, excusing, praising and criticising, just as 
> if free will were true. There is no other way to live, after all. But it 
> doesn?t mean they are all believers.  Perhaps life happens...just 
> happens. And our interior stories about what it all means come after the 
> fact.
> Science, ever peeling away from philosophy, experiments and observes and 
> measures and finds...that sometimes it seems that we move before our 
> brain sends the message to move...as though our brains are playing catch 
> up. This is spooky stuff and there are ethicists pondering what to do if 
> science proves there is no free will. What will happen if people stop 
> believing that they are choosing? Perhaps the scientists should keep it 
> to themselves. Perhaps no one would believe them anyway.
> Ursula
> shamelessly dipping into this conversation without having done the 
> requisite reading...

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