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freewill

freewill

Ch. 4: Chapter 4 does not deal with whether the government or other authorities permit freedom. Chapter four deals with free will. Science has made some strides in being able to predict behavior of individuals. Genetic markers, environmental conditions, and exposure to trauma or nurturing all affect behavior in somewhat predictable ways. For example, an iron deficiency typically leads to ice chewing. Give a person more iron, and the person stops feeling compelled to crunch ice.

Sartre would reject any scientific explanations for behavior. He would say crunching ice is determined only by a choice to crunch ice. We also claims that depression and shyness are free choices. Most depressed and shy people would disagree.

A philosopher represented in your textbook, Daniel Dennett, claims that scientific knowledge of what affects human behavior can lead to more freedom. For example, if you suffer from an iron deficiency and a compulsion to crunch ice, knowing the causal relation between the two enables you more freedom as you can choose iron supplements to help change your behavior.

Do you think we have any free will at all or do you think we are merely particles and energy being determined and moved around by physical laws of the universe? Give good reasons for your answer–do not just say what you believe but expound on why you believe it with reference to the readings.

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