On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on reclaiming lost personality traits, debating Christian versus Objectivist ethics, conning jerks and blowhards, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 24 August 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Causality

  • Q&A: Free Will and Natural Law: 13 Jan 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Is free will merely an illusion? While I dislike the idea that we're just puppets of physics and natural law, I wonder whether our seemingly "free" decisions are actually determined by the combination of our biology and our environment. After all, if our brain is merely a physical and chemical system, how could any any decisions be made freely? Wouldn't that violate natural law? In essence, how can our knowledge that the physical universe is deterministic be reconciled with our subjective feeling that we choose our actions?

    Tags: Causality, Free Will, Introspection, Materialism, Metaphysics, Science

  • Q&A: Reasons for Everything: 21 Oct 2012, Question 3
  • Question: Does everything happen for a reason? When confronted with some unwelcome turn of events, many people tell themselves that "everything happens for a reason." What does that mean – and is it true? Is it harmless – or does believing that have negative effects on a person's life?

    Tags: Causality, Ethics, Evil, Religion, Responsibility

  • Interview: Craig Biddle on Common Mistakes about Ethics: 10 Oct 2012
  • Summary: What are some of the most common mistakes that people make in thinking about ethics? Craig Biddle explained people's wrong ideas about ethics, including ethics of duty, pragmatism, religious ethics, collectivism, and more.

    Tags: Causality, Collectivism, Duty, Ethics, Objectivism, Obligation, Pragmatism, Religion

  • Q&A: Cultivating Good Luck: 8 Apr 2012, Question 1
  • Question: Can and should a person try to cultivate his own "good luck"? For example, a construction worker might leave his business card with neighbors in case they or anyone they might know happens to need his services in the future. Similarly, an investor might look to buy stock in companies with promising patents pending or forthcoming products. Is pursuing these kinds of uncertain opportunities a means of cultivating good luck?

    Tags: Causality, Ethics, Luck, Metaphysics, Purpose, Virtue

  • Q&A: Causality and Free Will: 30 Jan 2011, Question 5
  • Question: How are causality and free will compatible? If my mind is an effect of my brain, and my brain is a complex physical system which operates in a deterministic way, doesn't that mean that my thoughts and actions are ultimately determined, too? What is wrong with the popular notions of causality and free will that make them appear incompatible?

    Tags: Causality, Free Will, Materialism, Metaphysics, Science


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