Friday, September 10, 2004

QED, I Guess, or Something

From an article by Paul Davies on free will (see here at Ektopos):

All this may seem like common sense, but philosophers and writers have questioned it for centuries—and the attack is gathering speed. “All theory is against the freedom of the will,” wrote British critic Samuel Johnson. In the 1940s, Oxford University philosophy Professor Gilbert Ryle coined the derisory expression “the ghost in the machine” for the widespread assumption that brains are occupied by immaterial selves that somehow control the activities of our neurons. The contemporary American philosopher Daniel Dennett now refers to the “fragile myth” of “spectral puppeteers” inside our heads.


In other words, people who haven't really taken the trouble to research what the problem of free will originally was have been resorting to more and more straw men in order to dismiss it.

<sarcasm>Well, I'm scared.</sarcasm>

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