ELBOW ROOM DANIEL DENNETT PDF

Small Arrow Once again Daniel Dennett has made a stunning contribution to our achieving a monist physicalism which is compatible with human experiences. A readable, light hearted book on a very serious subject. While philosphy citations outnumber those to psychology about two to one, Dennett is both well read and subtley competent in psychology, and the book will be enjoyed by intellecutal psychology students fully as much as by philosophy majors. Donald T. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too.

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Small Arrow Once again Daniel Dennett has made a stunning contribution to our achieving a monist physicalism which is compatible with human experiences. A readable, light hearted book on a very serious subject. While philosphy citations outnumber those to psychology about two to one, Dennett is both well read and subtley competent in psychology, and the book will be enjoyed by intellecutal psychology students fully as much as by philosophy majors.

Donald T. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too. Elbow Room begins by showing how we can be "moved by reasons" without being exempt from physical causation. It goes on to analyze concepts of control and self-control-concepts often skimped by philosophers but which are central to the questions of free will and determinism.

A chapter on "self-made selves" discusses the idea of self or agent to see how it can be kept from disappearing under the onslaught of science. Dennett then sees what can be made of the notion of acting under the idea of freedomdoes the elbow room we think we have really exist? What is an opportunity, and how can anything in our futures be "up to us"?

He investigates the meaning of "can" and "could have done otherwise," and asks why we want free will in the first place. We are wise, Dennett notes, to want free will, but that in itself raises a host of questions about responsibility.

In a final chapter, he takes up the problem of how anyone can ever be guilty, and what the rationale is for holding people responsible and even, on occasion, punishing them.

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DENNETT ELBOW ROOM PDF

It could be argued that this is because I find his ideas congenial, but in fact the causality is the other way around: many of my philosophical ideas were formed by reading his books. The reasons I recommend his works are the same ones that attracted me to them in the first place: clarity of language and conceptualisation, preparedness to state opposing positions with their full force and familiarity with and understanding of the natural sciences. Elbow Room is vintage Dennett. The following chapters lay the groundwork for understanding different conceptions of free will: the second discusses "reason", the third "control" and "self control" and the fourth "self" and ideas of "self-made selves". These concepts are set within an evolutionary context. The next chapter, "Acting Under the Idea of Freedom", looks at how we can continue deliberating while believing that the universe is deterministic. In particular it considers different definitions of "opportunity" and "avoidable", and how these things tie in with real life deliberations, motivations and expectations.

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