Friday, September 6, 2019

Books I'm Reading: Freedom Evolves

Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves (Penguin, 2003) is an engaging if rather challenging read. It's the sort of book you need to read several times to really absorb the arguments--that view more a reflection of defects in my intellect, I imagine, than defects in the author's arguments or the clarity of the writing.

Dennett looks at questions of free will and determinism, asking whether free will can exist in a deterministic world. His answer is essentially yes. He suggests human beings are unique in having evolved minds that give us free will and make us moral beings (without any need for religion, by the way).

Among the more interesting notions presented is the idea that it's possible to imagine a completely deterministic world that has randomness built into it. A lot to consider here, but too much  undigested (by me) to write much of a review. This is mostly intended as a note to myself that I attempted this one.

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