On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on the objectivity of manners, fighting words, obsessing over past conversations, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 30 November 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Materialism

  • 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: 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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