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Posts tagged "Free Will"


Another Week Ends: Free Won’t, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cars 2, more Super 8, Antinomian Letters, The Killing and Futurama

1. I can’t stop my leg! A fascinating post on Psychology Today about the groundbreaking research of neuroscientist Benjamin Libet into the area conscious choice/willpower, entitled “Free Won’t,” ht JD: Given our common sense notion of how our actions work, we might expect that we first have a conscious awareness of an intention or urge […]

Don’t Let Free Will Slow Your Roll

Via Wired, a new study on the relationship between belief in free will and basic motor skills finds that, apparently, “disbelieving free will makes brain less free.” Illustrating the key difference a title/interpretation can make, Lifehacker reports on the same article saying, “believing in free will gives you more power to take action.” Hmmm…. It […]

Mental Circuitry and Moral Culpability

In what has got to be one of the best titles of an editorial in years, “The Human Brain: Turning Our Minds To The Law,” David Eagleman takes up the Social Animal gauntlet in the Telegraph, and runs with it, legislatively-speaking. The connections are fairly self-evident in terms of free will, but in this case, […]

Somerset Maugham on Love, Duty and Free Will

Two inspired passages from W. Somerset Maugham. The first comes from chapter 68 of his 1925 novel The Painted Veil. The words are spoken by the Mother Superior of the French convent in the Chinese village where a young married woman begins to come to herself after being caught by her husband in an adulterous […]

The (f)Utility of Free Will

Another update on one of our favorite topics: Free Will and the Lack Thereof. This time from a Psychology Today article published in May, entitled “Is Free Will Real? Better Believe It (Even If It’s Not)”. The article is less interested in contesting the fairly widespread agreement among scientists, philosophers and theologians that free will, […]

Killed by a Robber

A friend of mine killed himself yesterday. He was far from being a close friend.. But I did know him. And since hearing about his death I’ve found myself thinking and feeling my way through a lot. One thing that has been a help is a brief comment by Martin Luther. He lived of course […]

Flight or Fight?

“Luther laid the greatest emphasis of all on the fact that everything must be done freely and joyfully. At the very beginning of he Psalms Lectures we find references to the free, the joyful, the spontaneous will. God desires no forced service. Whatever action does not arise spontaneously from within, but is forced for a specific purpose at a particular moment, will not last; it is no real act of the will, and has no value at all in the eyes of God. ”
Karl Holl The Reconstruction of Morality p. 34

The Illusion of Conscious Will (Quotes from Ch. 1)

One thing that fascinates me is the contrast between implicit (or un/sub/pre-conscious cognition of which we are unaware) and explicit cognition (the thoughts that we are actually aware of having), and the relationship between these two types of cognition to our behaviour and how we actually live our lives. I’ve been reading a really fascinating […]