Sunday, August 26, 2012

Free Will and Neuroscience

I did a series - or more exactly, brought out a discussion - about free will last year, May We Believe Our Thoughts?  There's 28 entries on that, so browsing may be the order of the day.

Philosopher Eddy Nahmias, last seen as a contributor to The Oxford Handbook On Free Will has an interesting essay over at Big Questions Online whether contemporary neuroscience supports or challenges the notion of free will. He comes down in favor of the "supports" camp, while acknowledging that many others think otherwise. 

Via Maggie's Farm, specifically Bird Dog.  Which brings me to another point:  I used to have lists of things I should read that I felt bad about not getting to.  With the internet, and specifically people like BD who uncover lots of interesting stuff nearly every day, I have the additional problem of things I would really like to read that I can't get to.  There is just no way, and it hardly seems fair.

11 comments:

james said...

It isn't fair. Some time back I decided to cut back hard on the number of sites I read daily, and dropped down to 6. (First Things, yours, Internet Monk, SciTechDaily, ... oh, and my kids' sites too, so 11, but they don't publish often) The problem was that you had interesting links, and your blogroll had interesting posts, which in turn had interesting links, and things turned exponential in a hurry.
"I can resist anything but temptation."

Neuroscience has a long row to hoe if they want to abolish free will. Even proving that there can be over-riding influences isn't enough; we can "tack" our way against a prevailing wind sometimes.

Jonathan said...

My new philosophy is this- don't read anything you "should" read, just read what interests you. There's many topics (politics, religion, philosophy) that have books and articles I "should" read to be more informed. But I'm not interested, so why bother?

Jonathan said...

Granted, this only works if you're pretty well done arguing with people. I have no interest in being harangued by people, so I generally steer clear. This allows a lot more time to read things I actually care about.

james said...

Life is short. Shall I spend the next 10 minutes reading those posts or starting to clean the basement?

Choices, choices.

Sam L. said...

James, my basement loses. Big time. Every time.

james said...

I compromised. I'm doing backups.

karrde said...

I have a suspicion that the question of Free Will is more a question of what Free Will than whether humans have it.

For any given definition, someone can claim the evidence supports it, while another person can claim the evidence doesn't support it...

Sam L. said...

I'm more of a Free Willy kind of guy, since my wife made me watch the movie with her.

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Assistant Village Idiot said...

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I'll do another post sometime on the weird collection of posts the spam tends to show up on.

The Diablo gold ones are ads for equipment and character enhancements in virtual worlds, such as WoW, which you can buy with real-world cash.