prophilosophy

Professional philosophy news

The Washington Post reviews Sam Harris’s book on free will

The review can be found here. Harris (whose Ph.D. is in neuroscience) is the author of the NY Times bestseller The End of Faith, and the follow-up Letter to a Christian Nation.

… Sam Harris makes the case for accepting that these impulses, desires and decisions aren’t original, independent choices. Rather, you aren’t in control of your mind because you “are only part of your mind.” You are aware of your conscious mind, and all of the thoughts and urges therein, but you have no idea where these feelings and yens come from. If you have a sudden urge to go for a walk, where did that come from? You don’t know, but if you opt to take the walk, are you really acting freely?

For other recent discussion of these issues, see these CHE essays, especially those by Hilary Bok (Johns Hopkins) and Alfred Mele (Florida State). See also Julian Baggini’s review of several recent books on free will, including one by Tamler Sommers (University of Houston).

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