Tags » Determinism

My Thought Experiment on Hard Determinism

Consider two hypothetical rooms that are exactly the same in every way down to the subatomic and quantum level. If you were to make an exact copy of a person in the same way and similarly place each of them in a room, would they remain in synch? 91 more words


Slaughterhouse V Analysis

Kurt Vonnegut demonstrates in his novel, Slaughterhouse V or The Children’s Crusade, that the soldiers in the American army during World War II were not in control of their own actions and were stripped of all free will whilst under the command of German troops. 749 more words


Inspiration as Slavery

Even the most rabid critics of formalism are forced to admit that there are formal demands which a work cannot elude. Responding to those who were trying to confound inspiration, liberty, chance and the dictates of the unconscious, the terms that Raymond Queneau employed in 1938 are well known: “… inspiration which consists in blind obedience to every impulse is in reality a sort of slavery. 69 more words


Does Micro-indeterminism entail Macro-indeterminism?

A professor of mine, with whom I habitually disagree (much to his pretended ‘chagrin’ and our mutual amusement), has argued previously, and again recently, that even if indeterminism were true at the micro-level, for instance at the level of quantum mechanics, that would do nothing to make macro-determinism infeasible, where macro-determinism means something like: for every macro-physical event E, either (i) there is always exactly one macro-physical event E* from which E followed deterministically, or at least (ii) E, if it is not preceded by any physical events, deterministically entails all proceeding macro-physical events. 3,164 more words


Human nature, a Humean take

by Massimo Pigliucci

Human nature is a funny thing. Some scientists, like biologist E.O. Wilson [1] and linguist Steven Pinker [2] are pretty convinced it is a real thing, and that it seriously constrains what we are going to do with our lives (the entire discipline of evolutionary psychology, or sociobiology as it was known in its first incarnation, is predicated on it). 2,652 more words

Reading Nietzsche: The Illusion of Free Will

A correlation exists between people’s desire to punish and their belief in free will, according to this report. Countries with the highest homicide rates also tend to have larger percentages of their populations who respond in the affirmative to survey questions about having control over one’s behavior and circumstance. 377 more words

Tabula Rasa

As far as we know, a man blind from birth does not dream of colors. But how could we know if he did? More important, how could he know if he did? 2,033 more words