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Free will debate: What does free will mean and how did it evolve?

Free will debate: What does free will mean and how did it evolve?
Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer It has become fashionable to say that people have no free will. Many scientists cannot imagine how the idea of free will could be reconciled with the laws of physics and chemistry. Brain researchers say that the brain is just a bunch of nerve cells that fire as a direct result of chemical and electrical events, with no room for free will. Others note that people are unaware of some causes of their behavior, such as unconscious cues or genetic predispositions, and extrapolate to suggest that all behavior may be caused that way, so that conscious choosing is an illusion. Scientists take delight in (and advance their careers by) claiming to have disproved conventional wisdom, and so bashing free will is appealing. Arguments about free will are mostly semantic arguments about definitions. There is no need to insist that free will is some kind of magical violation of causality. Different sciences discover different kinds of causes.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/09/free_will_debate_what_does_free_will_mean_and_how_did_it_evolve.html

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Is Free Will an Illusion? - The Chronicle Review Free will has long been a fraught concept among philosophers and theologians. Now neuroscience is entering the fray. For centuries, the idea that we are the authors of our own actions, beliefs, and desires has remained central to our sense of self. We choose whom to love, what thoughts to think, which impulses to resist. Genesis, from The holy Bible, King James version Bible, King James. Genesis, from The holy Bible, King James version Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library | The entire work (255 KB) | Table of Contents for this work |

You Call this Progress? One of the prevailing narratives of our time is that we are innovating our way into the future at break-neck speed. It’s just dizzying how quickly the world around us is changing. Technology is this juggernaut that gets ever bigger, ever faster, and all we need to do is hold on for the wild ride into the infinitely cool. Problems get solved faster than we can blink. But I’m going to claim that this is an old, outdated narrative. I think we have a tendency to latch onto a story of humanity that we find appealing or flattering, and stick with it long past its expiration date.

Free will : Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online ‘Free will’ is the conventional name of a topic that is best discussed without reference to the will. Its central questions are ‘What is it to act (or choose) freely?’, and ‘What is it to be morally responsible for one’s actions (or choices)?’ These two questions are closely connected, for freedom of action is necessary for moral responsibility, even if it is not sufficient. Genesis — introduction Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), the first section of the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures. Its title in English, “Genesis,” comes from the Greek of Gn 2:4, literally, “the book of the generation (genesis) of the heavens and earth.” Its title in the Jewish Scriptures is the opening Hebrew word, Bereshit, “in the beginning.” The book has two major sections—the creation and expansion of the human race (2:4–11:9), and the story of Abraham and his descendants (11:10–50:26).

Thirty Theses What are these? We all have basic assumptions about the world, human nature, and the relationship between the two. We are taught certain perspectives as children, and this recieved wisdom forms the common ground for communication. Ultimately, when we see the whole picture, our major disagreements are squabbles over details. Should gays be allowed to marry? We assume here a common understanding of what “marriage” means.

Britannica Online Encyclopedia from the Encyclopædia Britannica free will, in humans, the power or capacity to choose among alternatives or to act in certain situations independently of natural, social, or divine restraints. Free Will Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1. Rational Deliberation 1.1 Free Will as Choosing on the Basis of One's Desires On a minimalist account, free will is the ability to select a course of action as a means of fulfilling some desire. David Hume, for example, defines liberty as “a power of acting or of not acting, according to the determination of the will.” (1748, sect.viii, part 1).

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