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Philosophy Essays  compare happiness and life between d. h. lawrence's "you touched me" and friedrich nietzche's "the use and abuse of history taken from the twilight of the idols."   Compare Happiness and Life Between D. H. Lawrence's "You Touched Me" and Friedrich Nietzche's "The Use and Abuse of History Taken From The Twilight Of the Idols." INTRODUCTION In this paper, I won't stick to only one topic. I will compare different topics, such as happiness and life between two romantic writers, D. H. Lawrence and Friedrich Nietzsche from D. H. Lawrence's You tou... 
Philosophy Essays 'society's restraint to social reform'  Philosophy : Workfare "Society's Restraint to Social Reform" Of the many chatted words in the social reform vocabulary of Canadians today, the term workfare seems to stimulate much debate and emotion. Along with the notions of self-sufficiency, employability enhancement, and work disincentives, it is the concept of workfare that causes the most tension between it's governme... 
Philosophy Essays 'the divisions of society's povety classes'  John Boston Sociology 101 October 31, 1996 If I had the power to abolish poverty in the United States I would do it in a second. Abolishing poverty would be almost impossible because there are just to many poor people for one person to help to abolish poverty we must all work to help those who are poor get out of this condition. There are two types of poor, there are people who are ... 
Philosophy Essays 'the open boat'  "The Open Boat" by: Sarah Clauer Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat," is thought to be one of the finest stories ever written by an American. Crane uses a theme of cosmic irony. Cosmic irony is the belief that the universe is so large and man is so small that the universe is indifferent to the plight of man. In "The Open Boat," Crane's theme, cosmic irony, is illustrated through... 
Philosophy Essays A brief comment on the query: "is socrates guilty as charged?"  A Brief Comment on the Query: "Is Socrates Guilty As Charged?" In any case of law, when one is considering truth and justice, one must first look at the validity of the court and of the entity of authority itself. In Socrates case, the situation is no different. One may be said to be guilty or not of any said crime, but the true measure of guilt or innocence is only as valid as the c... 
Philosophy Essays A civil rebuttal  A Civil Rebuttal Philosophy -- a:pursuit of wisdom. b:a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means. Through this most specific definition given to us respectively by Sir Webster's dictionary, I choose in my best interest to refrain to you just what the meaning of philosophy is. I implore you to try an... 
Philosophy Essays A critical appraisal of: beowulf and gilgamesh  A Critical Appraisal of: Beowulf and Gilgamesh There are many differences and critical comparisons that can be drawn between the epics of Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Both are historical poems which shape their respected culture and both have major social, cultural, and political impacts on the development of western civilization literature and writing. Before any analysis is made, it is... 
Philosophy Essays A philosophy for all: an analysis of the tao  A Philosophy For All: An Analysis of the Tao There is no single definition of Taoism in the Tao de Ching. The reader realizes that she will not find one in the text after seeing the first sentence. By saying that whatever can be described of the Tao is not the true Tao, its author, Lao-tzu, establishes his first premise: the Tao is a force beyond human explanation. However this ass... 
Philosophy Essays A study of depression and relationships  A Study of Depression and Relationships A primary concern for Psychology research is depression. Depression affects a great deal of our population and many aspects of an individual's mental health and well-being. In my research of books, articles, and Internet pages on depression, I chose to base my paper mainly on a 1994 article of a study of depression, entitled Depressi... 
Philosophy Essays Abolishing poverty in the u.s  Abolishing Poverty in The U.S John Boston Sociology 101 October 31, 1996 If I had the power to abolish poverty in the United States I would do it in a second. Abolishing poverty would be almost impossible because there are just to many poor people for one person to help to abolish poverty we must all work to help those who are poor get out of this cond... 
Philosophy Essays Academic attitude  Academic Attitude During the course of a student's progression through academia, he must learn that the teacher cannot think for him. It is essential for a student to free his mind, allowing thought to flow. Instead of waiting for the answers to be handed to him on a silver platter, he will rise to his full potential, above to the meta level, and for himself, determine what ... 
Philosophy Essays Albert camus  Albert Camus Philosophy p. 5 October 29,1996 Born on November 7, 1913 in Mandoui, Algeria, Albert Camus earned a worldwide reputation as a novelist and essayist and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. Though his writings, and in some measure against his will, he became the leading moral voice of his generation during the 1950's. Camus died at the height of... 
Philosophy Essays All about nothing: the story of my life  All About Nothing: The Story of My Life Perhaps the most important thing that has happened in my life is the fact that nothing really big or important has ever happened in my life. For example, my parents are still happily married, and nobody really close to me has evr died. All of this is very unfortunate, I am sure, because if one of these things had happened I would have been a... 
Philosophy Essays Amen: does prayer play an important role in our lives today?  Amen: Does Prayer Play An Important Role In Our Lives Today? Does prayer play an important role in our lives today? The minority would say no and that prayer shouldn't ever have played an important role in our society. But, the simple fact of the matter is that for hundreds of years, prayer in school has been encouraged by both society and government. In recent years, it has been ... 
Philosophy Essays An argument for the legalization of drugs, based on john stuart mills' "revised harm principle"  An Argument for the Legalization of Drugs, Based on John Stuart Mills' "Revised Harm Principle" The question of whether or not to legalize certain drugs has been debated for decades. Although opponents have thus far been successful in preventing this, there are nonetheless a substantial number of people who believe that legalization should be given a chance. Their arguments range f... 
Philosophy Essays Analysis of crito  Analysis of Crito The question is raised within the dialogue between Socrates and Crito concerning civil disobedience. Crito has the desire, the means, and many compelling reasons with which he tries to convince the condemned to acquiesce in the plan to avoid his imminent death. Though Crito's temptation is imposing, it is in accord with reason and fidelity that Socrates chooses to ... 
Philosophy Essays Analysis of the human cultural identity  Analysis of the Human Cultural Identity This paper is intended to contain the analysis of the human cultural identity, as seen in the following five historical cultural periods: Enlightenment Culture; Greco-Roman Culture; Judeo-Christian Culture; Renaissance-Reformation Culture; and Industrialization-Modernism Culture. It also embodies examples of each era that are clearly sta... 
Philosophy Essays Anselm's ontological argument and the philosophers  Anselm's Ontological Argument and the Philosophers Saint Anselm of Aosta, Bec, and Canterbury, perhaps during a moment of enlightenment or starvation-induced hallucination, succeeded in formulating an argument for God's existence which has been debated for almost a thousand years. It shows no sign of going away soon. It is an argument based solely on reason, distinguishing it from o... 
Philosophy Essays Antigone  Antigone Antigone and Ismene are sisters.  They have two brothers who just killed each other and both died.  Creon, whos very powerful, honored one and dishonored the other.  The dishonored brother being left outside, unburied, and prohibited anyone to cry or sympathetic on the dead body.  Antigone who came from a loyal family could not stand to see her brother died unburied, so s... 
Philosophy Essays Argument about the exist of god  Argument About The Exist of God The following paper will provide a sound argument in favor of the existence of God. By demonstrating that an Atheist world cannot account for the preconditions of the laws of logic an Atheist cannot even account for a rational debate concerning the existence of God. "The impossibility of the contrary", the best and only proof that the nesesary trut... 
Philosophy Essays Aristotle (384 -322 bc)  Aristotle (384 -322 BC) ARISTOTLE'S LIFE Aristotle, Greek philosopher and scientist, is one of the most famous of ancient philosophers. He was born in Stagira, Greece to a physician to the royal court. When he became eighteen, Aristotle entered Plato's School in Athens and remained at this academy for twenty years, as a student and then as a teacher. He was recognized as the Ac... 
Philosophy Essays Aristotle on friendship  Aristotle On Friendship Philosophical Ethics December 6, 1995 Friendship is undoubtedly one of the most important elements in the books of Aristotle's ethical principles. Aristotle takes the idea of friendship to a serious degree. He categorizes them into three groups or types of friendships. This report will attempt to define each type of friendship as w... 
Philosophy Essays Aristotle: a comprehensive view on nature and society  Aristotle: A Comprehensive View on Nature and Society In order to fully understand Aristotle's views on a natural system, it is necessary to first explain some general principles of his philosophy. It is in his work the Categories that Aristotle presents the concept of substance, a concept which will serve as the foundation for much of his philosophical system. Substance, for Aristo... 
Philosophy Essays Aristotle's concept of teleology  Aristotle's Concept of Teleology In his Physics, Aristotle examines the theories and ideas regarding nature of his predecessors and then, based upon his own ideas, theories and experiments, argues against what he believes are incorrect conclusions. One idea that Aristotle argues specifically is teleology. Teleology is the idea that natural phenomena are determined not only b... 
Philosophy Essays Atomism: democritus and epicurus  Atomism: Democritus and Epicurus Philosophy 116 October 17, 1996 In the Atomists, we see pluralism taken as far as it could possibly go. We see Democritus and Epicurus divide all the world, as well as the universe, into two categories; atoms and empty space. Everything else is merely thought to exist. The atoms are eternal, infinite in size and number and the... 
Philosophy Essays Augustine's "confessions"  Augustine's "Confessions" A philosophical question faces Christians, and in fact all theists, that challenges the belief in God. To theists, God is an omnipotent, perfect God. He is good. Theists accept this, and embrace it, for how else can they worship God and give their lives to Him unless He is good? However, n this world evil is constantly seen all around us. Because ... 
Philosophy Essays Ayn rand's "the fountainhead"  Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" Imagine power as a form of free flowing energy, a source found within every one and for each individual. Assume that to gain power, one has to tap this resevoir of immense proportions and relish upon the rich harvest to their hearts desires. Consequently, when there is such a dealing of concentrated materials, nature takes charge and similarly to other ... 
Philosophy Essays Behind closed doors: the correlation between multiple personality disorder and child abuse  Behind Closed Doors: The Correlation Between Multiple Personality Disorder and Child Abuse "Each day that we pretended, we replaced reality with lies, or dreams, or angry schemes, in search of dignity… until our lies got bigger than the truth, and we had no one real to be" From "For Children Who... 
Philosophy Essays Berkeley  Berkeley As man progressed through the various stages of evolution, it is assumed that at a certain point he began to ponder the world around him. Of course, these first attempts fell short of being scholarly, probably consisting of a few grunts and snorts at best. As time passed on, though, these ideas persisted and were eventually tackled by the more intellectual, so-called philosop... 
Philosophy Essays Biological determinism  Biological Determinism 1. According to the author of the article "All in the Genes?", there is no intrinsic causality between genetics and intelligence. The author analyses different aspects of biological determinism, and supplies many examples, which illustrate aspects of this problem that are being discussed since the time when these ideas became popular. He does not agree wit... 
Philosophy Essays Business and ethics  Business and Ethics UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE VAFB, CALIFORNIA ECBU 346 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION FEBURARY 12, 1997 BY DOUG RONING From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be very lucrative. In general, a steady stream of orders keep coming in, revenue increases and the company continues to grow. There are a... 
Philosophy Essays Camus' "the stranger": choice and individual freedom are integral components of human nature  Camus' "The Stranger": Choice and Individual Freedom Are Integral Components of Human Nature Camus's The Stranger is a grim profession that choice and individual freedom are integral components of human nature, and the commitment and responsibility that accompany these elements are ultimately the deciding factors of the morality of one's existence. Meursault is placed in an indiffer... 
Philosophy Essays Can computers understand?  Can Computers understand? 1) Thinking is the hallmark of understanding. 2) Only special machines can think. 3) If something can think it can understand. 4) Only special machines that can think can understand. 5) "Mental" states and their resulting actions are products of the center of activity (brain). 6) To understand, ... 
Philosophy Essays Can one perceive or confirm the existence of an idea or object that is external to him mainly - god?  Can One Perceive Or Confirm The Existence Of An Idea Or Object That Is External To Him Mainly - God? "I think therefore I am." Man wills, refuses, perceives, understands, and denies many principles. As explained by Rene' Descartes, man is a thinking thing, a conscious being who truthfully exists because he is certain that it is so. All that man perceives is internally present and n... 
Philosophy Essays Chance or planning  Chance or Planning Maureen C. Lett HSS 208-Dr. O'Hara April 17, 1996 Intelligence and planning are necessary factors in scientific research, however chance and luck are also important and somewhat necessary factors. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin and the memoir, The Double Helix, written by James Watson, prove this assertion. Charles Darwin, James Watson and Francis Crick ... 
Philosophy Essays Charles darwin and imperialism  Charles Darwin and Imperialism England went through dramatic changes in the 19th century. English culture, socio-economic structure and politics where largely influenced by the principles of science. Many social expressions occurred due to these changes. Transformations which categorized this time period could be observed in social institutions; for instance: the switch from ... 
Philosophy Essays Child abuse: saddest and most tragic problem today  Child Abuse: Saddest and Most Tragic Problem Today Child abuse is one of the saddest and most tragic problems in America today. Each year an estimated one to two million American children are being beaten, neglected, or sexually abused by their parents or guardians. Infants only a few days old as well as teenagers are subject to child abuse. There are four types of child a... 
Philosophy Essays Classical theory structure  Classical Theory Structure Introduction By way of illustration, in this document we will describe and explain the classical structural theory as presented by Max Weber. To highlight the advantages and disadvantages of this classical structure as used in a realistic modern organization we will apply this theroy as used today in our public police department. Classical Struct... 
Philosophy Essays Commitment  Commitment When you abide to do something with all your heart and soul. We live in a cynical world where commitment is often times obscured by day to day life. Many believe that our goals are a commitment to ourselves. People make goals for themselves in order to strive for greatness, but a man once told me that goals not written down are only dreams. We can dream all we like but wi... 
Philosophy Essays Compare how hobbes and augustine think the condition of war arises and defend one author's account of `ordinary' morality as an antedote for it  Compare how Hobbes and Augustine Think The Condition of War Arises and Defend One Author's Account of `ordinary' Morality As An Antedote For It Augustine believes that the condition of war arises when the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God is disrupted (The City of God, 690) whereas Hobbes believes that the original state of nature is a condition of constant war, which... 
Philosophy Essays Confucianism and christianity  Confucianism and Christianity M. Douglas McKinney Philosophy of Religion The premise of Confucian teachings are centered around the idea of Jen or the ³virtue of humanity (Ching 68).² To accomplish this divinity, five relationships must be honored: ruler and minister, father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger brother, and friend and friend (Hopfe). ... 
Philosophy Essays Confuciunism  Confuciunism Confuciunism is a philosophy vased on the teachings of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher/teacher. Confucius highly stressed ethics. It is thought the reason for this is because the China of his time was corrupt. Confucius thought the way to live with good ethics was to follow the five virtues: Jen; to do good on others, yi; rightsiosness by justice, li; religious and mora... 
Philosophy Essays Confucius  Confucius If our government was run for the people, and not for the enrichment of its rulers, the US would be a more tightly unified nation. Confucius stressed that a government be run for the well-being of the people, and if that was applied today, results would be outstanding. Confucius also said to put aside military conquests and to work for the good of the country. Applied today... 
Philosophy Essays Conscience  Conscience Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines conscience as "the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or good." In A Man for All Seasons, each character's conscience plays the ultimate role in the outcome of the story. "Individual consc... 
Philosophy Essays Consciousness, the self, and personality theory: a critical survey of theories of philosophical arguments and modern psychological personality theories  Consciousness, the Self, and Personality Theory: A Critical Survey of Theories of Philosophical Arguments and Modern Psychological Personality Theories. This paper will concern itself with some main philosophical arguments and dilemmas and how they correlate with modern psychological personality theories. This survey will include dilemmas about the mind and body, the concept ... 
Philosophy Essays Creativity  Creativity Creativity is the sole heart of modernization, technology and the arts. Without creativity, humanity would still thrive in caves. There is no argument against creativity being an important aspect of our society, there is, however, a question whether creativity is spawned by mental disorder. Albert Einstein came up with ideas that seemed impossible or eccentric. Froy... 
Philosophy Essays Culture, nature & freedom: treating juvenile offenders.  Culture, Nature & Freedom: Treating Juvenile Offenders. Groneman Argiro, T. W. Civ. 205 December 12,1996 In Kansas, Juvenile offenders are sent to "Youth Centers". These are merely Child prisons, lockdown facilities for kids. This style of treatment goes against every idea of growth put forward in this class. In this paper I will try to justify the use of residential treatmen... 
Philosophy Essays David burn's feeling good: depression  David Burn's Feeling Good: Depression In the book Feeling Good , David Burns, MD, the author, outlines certain cognitive techniques an individual suffering from depression could use in combating the disorder. He begins the book by briefly describing the pertinence and the prevalence of depression. The author captures the audience's attention in the first paragraph: " In fact depre... 
Philosophy Essays Descartes' meditation one  Descartes' Meditation One Being a foundationalist, Descartes needs to destroy the foundations of his beliefs so that in his Meditations he will be able to build upon new foundations of undeniable and self evident truths. In order to do this Descartes must first find a valid argument that will allow him to doubt his foundation beliefs and in turn doubt what is considered to be reality... 
Philosophy Essays Descartes' meditations  Descartes' Meditations Descartes overall objective in the Meditations is to question knowledge. To explore such metaphysical issues as the existence of God and the separation of mind and body, it was important for him to distinguish what we can know as truth. He believed that reason as opposed to experience was the source for discovering what is of absolute certainty. In my explica... 
Philosophy Essays Descartes' skeptical argument and reponses by bouwsma and malcolm  Descartes' Skeptical Argument and Reponses by Bouwsma and Malcolm In this essay, I will examine Rene Descartes' skeptical argument and responses by O.K. Bouwsma and Norman Malcolm. I intend to prove that while both Bouwsma and Malcolm make points that refute specific parts of Descartes' argument in their criticisms, neither is sufficient in itself to refute the whole. In o... 
Philosophy Essays Direct democracy vs representative democracy  Direct Democracy vs Representative Democracy The term Democracy is derived from two Greek words, demos, meaning people, and kratos, meaning rule. These two words form the word democracy which means rule by the people. Aristotle, and other ancient Greek political philosophers, used the phrase, `the governors are to be the governed', or as we have come to know it, `rule and be r... 
Philosophy Essays Discussion of the feasibility of miracles and the grounds for christianity existing without miracles  Discussion of the Feasibility of Miracles and the Grounds for Christianity Existing Without Miracles Kurt Erler Philosophical Classics 11/11/96 In the following Discussion, I will point out the facts and ideas that disagree with Hume's ideas. The ideas are the ones on miracles in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding involving Section ten Of M... 
Philosophy Essays Distractions in life  Distractions In Life " I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps, it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any time for that one." -Henry David Thoreau Many times I would find myself in a state of mass confusion. It was as if I had no perception of where I would go with my life. I was trapped in a... 
Philosophy Essays Do we have souls?  Do We Have Souls? On the question of 'Do we have souls' and 'Can they survive after death', this writer will attempt a reasoned explanation and defense of my views to this philosophical question. After careful explanation of my own views , thoughts, and careful examination of the selected materials for this paper; I have come to this conclusion: unlike the problem of free will, ... 
Philosophy Essays Does god exist?  Does God Exist? St. Thomas Aquinas has written several important works. Some of them are: The Disputed Questions on the Power of God, Exposition of Dionysius on the Divine Names and Disputed Questions on Spiritual Creatures. Most of Aquinas's works have been written to try to prove the existence of God. Aquinas has been a firm believer that everything had to have a creator and t... 
Philosophy Essays Does science explain all?  Does Science Explain All? In the beginning there was darkness. Then there was light. Then there was consciousness. Then there were questions and then there was religion. Religions sprouted up all over the world as a response to some of humanity's most troubling questions and fears. Why are we here? Where do we come from? Why does the world and nature act as it does? What happen... 
Philosophy Essays Does video game violence affect children?  Does Video Game Violence Affect Children? Abstract Does Video Game Violence Affect Children? This project shows if video game violence affects children. Many children between the ages of eight years old and ten years old will be observed before, during, and after playing violent video games. Looking for violent behavior before, during, and after playing violent video games is t... 
Philosophy Essays Dreams  Dreams Since the dawn of mankind, man has been searching for the answer to just one question: Why do we dream? I believe strongly that the reason is not clear- cut and as easy to answer as it might seem. I think that dreams range in meaning and importance. When someone has a dream, there are many possible types of dreams they could have. First of these possibilities is ... 
Philosophy Essays Dreams their analysis  Dreams Their Analysis The assignment is to recall a dream and analyze it from one or two theoretical perspectives we've learned thus far in dream analysis. Dreams have been a vehicle to express emotions, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they pose questions which have been rooted in our conscious. Dreams are personalized works which we have consciously directed and created... 
Philosophy Essays Dualism  Dualism I believe that the popular or "ghost in the machine" form of substance dualism best solves the mind body problem. My views in this area have been influenced by my twelve years of Catholic education. The soul, or mind, depending on your level of belief, was a complete and separate entity and was the center of a human being. The body was an ambulatory device that the so... 
Philosophy Essays Early to bed  Early to Bed "Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise," is one of the most widely quoted proverbs from Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac. This proverb is seldom disputed however I fail to see the logic behind it. I think that he who goes to bed early misses out on a lot of things and must be antisocial. Let us just say that everybody in the world ... 
Philosophy Essays Edgar allan poe  Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe was born near London on the 19th of January 1809. His mother was an actor and his father was a doctor. When Poe was 2 years old his father disappeared. His mother, who was seriously ill in tuberculosis, took Poe and his sister to Richmond, Virginia. Poe's mother died soon after this. The two siblings became then separated and Poe was taken care of by th... 
Philosophy Essays Emily dickinson: transcendentalist experience through imagination  Emily Dickinson: Transcendentalist Experience Through Imagination The early 19th century ideas of transcendentalism, which were introduced by Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau, where man as an individual becomes spiritually consumed with nature and himself through experience are contrasted by Emily Dickinson, who chose to branch off this path by showing that a transcendentalist experie... 
Philosophy Essays Enlightenment: the light bulb of the 1700's  Enlightenment: The Light Bulb of the 1700's Throughout history many people have changed society with their ideas and actions. Two philosophers whose ideas and actions changed society are Voltaire and John Lock. Martin Luther and Galileo also changed society. John Lock and Voltaire both fought for basic human rights. Voltaire fought for basic religious freedom. He cla... 
Philosophy Essays Evil from morals  Evil From Morals By textbook definition, evil is "What is morally wrong, what hinders the realization of good" (Webster). If that is evil, then what is good? It's "what is morally excellent, virtuous, well behaved, dutiful." (Webster) Philosophers have argued over what evil is and why it exists for thousands of years. They have raised questions like "How can there be a God if there ... 
Philosophy Essays Existence of man  Existence of Man For centuries man has grappled with the riddle of what it means to be a person. But the questions Who is man? and What is the meaning of life? are still unanswered. Yet, while man is still a long way from arriving at any acceptable definitions, there is deep within everyone the hint of an idea of what it means to be a whole person, that is happy, functioning and f... 
Philosophy Essays Existentialism  Existentialism Existentialism is a concept that became popular during the second World War in France, and just after it. French playrights have often used the stage to express their views, and these views came to surface even during a Nazi occupation. Bernard Shaw got his play "Saint Joan" past the German censors because it appeared to be very Anti-British. French audiences however i... 
Philosophy Essays Existentialist view of human condition  Existentialist View of Human Condition Two of the main principles of Existentialist Human Condition are: That man exists and then creates himself and what man chooses for himself he chooses for everyone else as well. Lets examine the first principle: man exists and then defines himself. What it means is that man is created on this earth and is nothing but a body, blood and guts. W... 
Philosophy Essays Fgm: female genital mutilation  FGM: Female Genital Mutilation Female genital mutilation has been practiced in country's around the world for thousands of years, and will continue to be practiced, until those that practice it decide to stop. Many people who live in country's that are more industrialized, like the U.S.A., tend to think that no ones believes on right and wrong is correct, except their own. That i... 
Philosophy Essays Freedom and reason in kant  Freedom and Reason in Kant Alice Furnari 24 /2/97 Morality, Kant says, cannot be regarded as a set of rules which prescribe the means necessary to the achievement of a given end; its rules must be obeyed without consideration of the consequences that will follow from doing so or not. A principle that presupposes a desired object as the determinant of the will ... 
Philosophy Essays Functionalism and physicalism  Functionalism and Physicalism While acquiring knowledge on the topics of Functionalism and Physicalism, I ran across many disagreement between the two. Interestingly, those disagreements gave me an impression of different sides arguing with their own support from their own theories. As if an Arabian and a Roman were arguing about whether the number eleven is an "Arabic" number or a... 
Philosophy Essays Galileo and newton  Galileo and Newton 2/4/97 Galileo believed the physical world to be bounded. He says that all material things have "this or that shape" and are small or large in relation to other things. He also says that material objects are either in motion or at rest, touching or not touching some other body, and are either one in number, or many. The central properties of the material wor... 
Philosophy Essays Genetics engineering  Genetics Engineering Hollywood has been showing it to us for years. Frankenstein, The Six Million Dollar Man, Jurassic Park, etc.; the list goes on. All these movies show man's instinct to create. This fiction of playing God in recent years is becoming a reality. In 1952, deoxyribonucleic acid was discovered(Dewitt, 1994). The spiral staircase molecule, DNA. DNA is the building b... 
Philosophy Essays Hands: paranoia  Hands: Paranoia Pierce English 102 b Jan. 28, 1997 It seems that in all three of these works there is a sense of paranoia. In "Hands" a man is fearful of what might happen if he continues to do as he has done in the past, touch people. A terrible fear of what a small touch could lead to. In the story "Eveline" a young woman is confused about what... 
Philosophy Essays Happiness  Happiness Happiness: In one word, this concept exemplifies the American dream. People go to any means by which to obtain the many varied materials and issues that induce pleasures in each individual, and intrinsically, this emotion remains the ultimate goal, John Stuart Mill, a nineteenth century philosopher, correctly advocated the pursuit of happiness, and maintained the con... 
Philosophy Essays Hemingway and "nada"  Hemingway and "Nada" In "The light of the world" written by Ernest Hemingway Steve Ketchel, a boxer symbolizes a Jesus figure for a woman called Alice. Alice, a 350 pound, unpleasant prostitute struggles with her current life. Her central being focuses at the belief that she had a sexual relationship with Steve Ketchel. This wishful illusion arises from a complex she has because ... 
Philosophy Essays Hollywood's attack on religion  Hollywood's Attack on Religion The section that I have chosen to analyze from the book Hollywood vs. America is "The Attack on Religion." In this part of the book, Michael Medved discusses the shift in attitude Hollywood has made toward religion, from acceptable to contemptible. He takes a look at the messages being sent in films, music and television in the last 15 to 20 ye... 
Philosophy Essays Homosexuality  Homosexuality Homosexuality has been on debate for numerous years. It is mentioned in the Bible which is thousands of years old. But recently two philosophers have spoken how they feel about Homosexuality. Michael Levin and Richard Mohr's views on the subject are in conflict with one another. Levin argues that homosexuality is abnormal because it is a misuse of body parts that ha... 
Philosophy Essays How technology effects modern america  How Technology Effects Modern America The microeconomic picture of the U.S. has changed immensely since 1973, and the trends are proving to be consistently downward for the nation's high school graduates and high school drop-outs. "Of all the reasons given for the wage squeeze international competition, technology, deregulation, the decline of unions and defense cuts ­ technology is... 
Philosophy Essays How to get married and stay married to the perfect mate!!  How To Get Married and Stay Married To The Perfect Mate!! This book will talk about the ways and theories of how to stay married one you are married. It will cover stuff like communication, similarity, physical attractiveness, similarity, balance and equity theory, and proximity. Communication is important in relationships. I will cover the aspects of non-verbal and verbal communi... 
Philosophy Essays Human life and fire  Human Life and Fire The world is full of powerful forces. There are forces that effect the entire society and there are forces that only effect a select part of it. One of the most powerful forces of nature is fire. Fire is constantly present in today's society. Whether it be by staying warm or the destruction of private memories and property, fire is an ongoing influence i... 
Philosophy Essays Human nature is inherently bad  Human Nature Is Inherently Bad There are many theories as to Human nature. One of which exists, under the thoughts of a prominent philosopher, and founder of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. His deductive argument, entails his conclusion that man is bad, or as Freud explains it as Homo Homini Lupus (man is a wolf to man). Freud justification for such a drastic ap... 
Philosophy Essays Human perception: an intimate look into the most intriguing aspect of modern psychology  Human Perception: An Intimate Look Into The Most Intriguing Aspect of Modern Psychology. It determines what we see, what we do, what we feel. It controls our emotions, our thoughts, and our conscience. What is this remarkable element of the human mind? It is called perception. Perception as defined in the Merrian- Webster Dictionary as the following- 1 a : awareness... 
Philosophy Essays Humanism  Humanism Kevin Clark Philosophy p.2 The word "humanism" has a number of meanings, and because there are so many different meanings it can be quite confusing if you don't know what kind of humanism someone is talking about. Literary Humanism is a devotion to the humanities or literary culture. Renaissance Humanism is the spirit of learning that developed at the ... 
Philosophy Essays Hume  Hume In explaining Hume's critique of the belief in miracles, we must first understand the definition of a miracle. The Webster Dictionary defines a miracle as: a supernatural event regarded as to define action, one of the acts worked by Christ which revealed his divinity an extremely remarkable achievement or event, an unexpected piece of luck. Therefore, a miracle is base... 
Philosophy Essays Hume and descartes on the theory of ideas  Hume and Descartes on The Theory of Ideas David Hume and Rene Descartes are philosophers with opposing views about the origination of ideas. Descartes believed there were three types of ideas which are, innate, adventitious and those from imagination. He stated since he exists and his idea of what a perfect being is, such as God, then God exists. Hume, on the other had, believed id... 
Philosophy Essays Hume's mind game  Hume's Mind Game Travis Slaby phil-101 Alex Clarkson 2-17-97 The human mind is a very intricate machine. There have been many people that have attempted, and failed, to explain how the human mind operates. After reading Hume, I was in agreement with a lot of what he was explaining. Hume, in my mind, has come the closest to uncovering the minds ... 
Philosophy Essays I believe: a code of ethics  I Believe: A Code of Ethics by PHIL 301 Fall Semester, 1996 I believe in the power of Mind... I believe pitchers should bat... I believe Oswald was a patsy... I believe everything is a conspiracy... I believe that people are responsible for their own actions... I believe that The Who is the greatest rock band of all... 
Philosophy Essays If buddha were alive today, how would he answer the question: "how should one live"?  If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: "How Should One Live"? What is right? Who is to say what is right? How do we know what we are doing is right? These are all questions that allude to how should one live? Different people have different opinions on this area. Buddha's theory is one way to answer the question. Buddha has four noble truths. These four nob... 
Philosophy Essays Impermanence, selflessness, and dissatisfaction  Impermanence, Selflessness, and Dissatisfaction Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy, but rather a way of life. This does not imply that Buddhism is nothing more than an ethical code: it is a way of moral, spiritual and intellectual training leading to complete freedom of the mind. (DeSilva, 1991:p 5). Of the many Buddhist sects, Zen Buddhism places particular emp... 
Philosophy Essays Investing in the future  Investing in the Future Tobin Lichti Psych 101 Jon Drummond TU 11:05 Welfare and school reform are two of the most widely discussed issues in politics today. Many people are calling for reduction or elimination welfare programs as well as programs that provide breakfast and lunch at schools. They argue that people should be able to provide for... 
Philosophy Essays James rachels' death and dying  James Rachels' Death and Dying James Rachels is one of the most controversial philosophers talked about in today's society. One of his most talked about topics is whether a person has a right to die or not. Not much is known about Rachels expect for the many articles and books he has written. In the controversy of letting a person die or killing him, he does not try to explain whi... 
Philosophy Essays John locke and john stuart mill's definition of freedom  John Locke and John Stuart Mill's Definition of Freedom John Locke believes that man ought to have more freedom in political society than John Stuart Mill does. John Locke's The Second Treatise of Government and John Stuart Mill's On Liberty are influential and potent literary works which while outlining the conceptual framework of each thinkers ideal state present two divergent vis... 
Philosophy Essays John locke: property rights  John Locke: Property Rights Perhaps one of, if not the, most historically influential political thinkers of the western world was John Locke. John Locke, the man who initiated what is now known as British Empiricism, is also considered highly influential in establishing grounds, theoretically at least, for the constitution of the United States of America. The basis for unde... 
Philosophy Essays John rawls and utilitarianism  John Rawls and Utilitarianism Heath C. Hoculock The social contract theory of John Rawls challenges utilitarianism by pointing out the impracticality of the theory. Mainly, in a society of utilitarians, a citizens rights could be completely ignored if injustice to this one citizen would benefit the rest of society. Rawls believes that a social contract theory, similar those prop... 
Philosophy Essays Justice  Justice Distributive Justice Philosophy 10 Instructor: Phil Freneau Should the strong be required to support the weak? How does society "distribute" wealth among its members? These are the questions. There are three basic sides to this issue. The permissive system entitles individuals to a subsistence income supply for existing as a human. The puritan syste... 
Philosophy Essays Juvenile delinquency  Juvenile Delinquency Remember doing something mischievous or wrong when you were a kid and getting the label "delinquent" slapped on you ? Did you ever wonder what it meant ? That is what my topic for today is . . . juvenile delinquency. In this report I will: define juvenile delinquency, give the extent of juvenile delinquency, give some suggestions on what causes juvenile delinqu... 
Philosophy Essays Kanflict: how humans have risen above the divine  Kanflict: How Humans Have Risen Above The Divine November 23, '96 Philosophy: Lily Nov.22 Until Emmanuel Kant, God, primarily the western Religion of Christianity's concept of God, was of an elevated stature over humans when concerning the issue of morality. This however was to be questioned due to this philosophers works on this subject. All ph... 
Philosophy Essays Kant: the universal law formation of the categorical imperative  Kant: the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical Imperative Kantian philosophy outlines the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical Imperative as a method for determining morality of actions. This formula is a two part test. First, one creates a maxim and considers whether the maxim could be a universal law for all rational beings. Second, one determines whether rationa... 
Philosophy Essays Kant's fundamental principles of the metaphysics of moral  Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Moral The central concept of Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals is the categorical imperative. "The conception of an objective principle, in so far as it is obligatory for a will, is called a command (of reason), and the formula of the command is called an Imperative." (Abbott, 30) An imperative is some... 
Philosophy Essays Lamarck's influence on the development of darwin's theory of evolution  Lamarck's Influence on the Development of Darwin's Theory of Evolution Dec. 4 1996 Marc Weinstein There have been many ideas on the theory of evolution. Some simply take our existence for granted, others prefer to explain all evolution in terms of the bible and the presence of a God. However, there are those who have researched the topic of evolution and have offered an explanation... 
Philosophy Essays Laughing and sense of humor  Laughing and Sense of Humor "What is it that differentiates human beings most revealingly? Some say it is their varying degrees of compassion; others say it is amounts of prudence; still others, people's differing appreciations of beauty, or whatever makes them angry. And there are other possibilities worth considering. But in truth nothing is so revealing as a person's sense of hu... 
Philosophy Essays Long distance relationship and how to make it work  Long Distance Relationship and How To Make It Work Dear Love Lady, I have a love problem and I don't know what to do. I am a freshman in college and so is my boyfriend. We have been together since our senior year in high school, and we are very much in love. But, since we've been at college, we have developed a problem. We don't see each other from month to month. You see, we... 
Philosophy Essays Loss of freedom through apathy  Loss of Freedom Through Apathy We do have freedom in this country but we simply choose to ignore it. We live in a democracy, the most just kind of government, where we the people hold supreme power. It is an institution that is a culmination of revolutions, wars, philosophies and heroes. It is the greatest and proudest government in the world. One reason for this is that Americans... 
Philosophy Essays Love and sacrifices  Love and Sacrifices What does it mean to love another? To love another person means to feel compassionate towards them, to "feel" what they feel. Caring about someone, and what happens to them is also a sign of love. Sharing a relationship with someone means that you have to be responsible and have to be aware that there will be times when things go wrong. Loving someone means... 
Philosophy Essays Loving in truth: creating a society of living in harmony in the 21st century  Loving in Truth: Creating a Society of Living in Harmony in the 21st Century In the course of one's existence, one is constantly striving to achieve the pinnacle of their abilities, a certain excellence within themselves, and a balance between themselves and their society. Unfortunately, as we near the end of the millenium, society is failing to provide us with the appropriate m... 
Philosophy Essays Machiavelli  Machiavelli Machiavelli's views revolved around the ideas that one must do anything within his (Machiavelli did not refer to "her') power to keep the influence and power that he has attained. For him, anything that must be done in order not to lose the influence and the power that one has should be done without question. "The ends justifies the means", he said. The power of... 
Philosophy Essays Maxine kumin  Maxine Kumin Maxine Kumin, who experienced many different views of the world through travel, feels the most comfortable in New Hampshire, her rural home. In any area that she travels, she always makes a similarity to her home, as expressed in her poems. In her poem, "The Long Approach", she is driving in her Saab hatchback from Scranton to her farm in New Hampshire. She also discu... 
Philosophy Essays Mill's utilitarianism: sacrifice the innocent for the common good?  Mill's Utilitarianism: Sacrifice the Innocent For The Common Good? When faced with a moral dilemma, utilitarianism identifies the appropriate considerations, but offers no realistic way to gather the necessary information to make the required calculations. This lack of information is a problem both in evaluating the welfare issues and in evaluating the consequentialist issues ... 
Philosophy Essays Mohandas gandhi  Mohandas Gandhi Leo Peters Section 567-01 Mid-Term Paper This Essay will be about the life and accomplishments of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. And will also discuss Civil Disobedience. Throughout history most national heroes have been warriors, but Gandhi ended British rule over his native India without striking a single blow. A frail man, he... 
Philosophy Essays Morality  Morality Moral philosophy is very important to the success of an individual. But, before I tell you why moral philosophy is so important, and how it has helped me in my life, let me give you a little background knowledge. Rational knowledge has two components. These components are material and formal. Formal knowledge is not object oriented, and is based on reason. Formal knowle... 
Philosophy Essays Morality: the pre-existing and universal code  Morality: The Pre-existing and Universal Code Morality: A doctrine or system of moral conduct; particular moral principles or rule of conduct. To say that modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age is to suggest that human morality changes with the passing of time. This statement is just unacceptable. Morality is not something of a fad. It should not go t... 
Philosophy Essays My personal search for a meaningful existence  My Personal Search for a Meaningful Existence I am the representative embodiment of my nihilistic culture. I am narcissistic, insatiable, petty, apathetic and I am above all an emotional invalid. Yet, up until very recently, I was not consciously aware that I was guilty of having any of these wholly pejorative attributes, because I had unconsciously suppressed my inherent will to a... 
Philosophy Essays My philosophical approach to counseling  My Philosophical Approach to Counseling Definition of Existential Therapy One survey taken by Corey suggests a definition of Existential Therapy include two key elements: Existential Therapy is essentially an approach to counseling and therapy rather than a firm theoretical model, it stresses core human conditions. Normally, personality development is based on the uniq... 
Philosophy Essays Nature vs. nurture  Nature vs. Nurture The dubious history of the heredity environment controversy can be easily traced as far back as the start of the present century with at least some historical evidence placing the roots of this dispute in the time of John Locke. This controversy has continued despite continual reiteration that the critical question is not how much of a trait is due to heredi... 
Philosophy Essays Novelty never lasts  Novelty Never Lasts One thing I have recently begun to learn in life is that the novelty of anything, given a little bit of time, no matter how fascinating or unusual it was at first, usually wears off quicker than one would prefer. I have found this to apply to nearly everything I have experienced in my life, and a frightening term comes to mind. "jaded." At least it should... 
Philosophy Essays Nurture plus nature  Nurture Plus Nature Raegan Robb Psych101 Dec.9th 1996 The classic debated topic of nurture versus nature has been, and always will be an argumentative subject in the scientific world. Some psychologists and scientists share the view that our behavioral aspects originate only from the environmental factors of our upbringing. While other opposing specialists... 
Philosophy Essays Oran: the good, the bad, and the ugly  Oran: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Oran, peaceful and unprepared, is overcome by Bubonic plague. Separation, isolation and indigence become the common lot of distinct characters whose actions, thoughts and feelings constitute a dynamic story of man imprisoned. Prior to the closing, people went about their business as usual, almost oblivious to the plague. When Oran was shut off... 
Philosophy Essays Our free will  Our Free Will We ought then regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its previous state and the cause of the one which is to follow. An intelligence knowing at a given instant of time all the forces operating in nature, as well as the position at that instant of all things of which the universe consists, would be able to comprehend the motions of the largest ... 
Philosophy Essays Panopticon: the ideal social order  Panopticon: The Ideal Social Order Chris Carlson English 1-53 "The Panopticon is a marvelous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogenous effects of power." Panopticism is a style of controlling the individual and making him conform to the system. That system could refer to the police or the world as a whole. There is never a defin... 
Philosophy Essays Personal identity  Personal Identity Personal Identity can be broken down into three areas: 1.) Body 2.) Memory and 3.) Soul. In John Perry's "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality" these composing aspects of personal identity are discussed at length. In the reading and class discussions the body was defined clearly as a part of one's person, even alluded to at times as a "prison" in w... 
Philosophy Essays Personal identity  Personal Identity 8th March, 1997 Dear Diary Today in class we had a brief discussion of what personal identity is. I didn't get a chance to speak out my thoughts and opinions so I felt like to share it with you. Personal identity is what I see myself as, positively or negatively. It could be argued but most people think ... 
Philosophy Essays Personal writing: changing grades and the consequences  Personal Writing: Changing Grades and The Consequences I was about to leave my algebra class one day when the teacher asked me a question. "Could you do help me out with my rollbook program?" he asked. "Sure, how can I help?" I replied. "I'm not sure about how to save back-up copies of my work. Could you show me how?" he said. At this moment, I realized the scope of his question.... 
Philosophy Essays Plato vs. aristotle  Plato vs. Aristotle Plato and Aristotle, two philosophers in the 4th century, hold polar views on politics and philosophy in general. This fact is very cleverly illustrated by Raphael's "School of Athens" (1510-11; Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican), where Plato is portrayed looking up to the higher forms; and Aristotle is pointing down because he supports the natural sciences. In a ... 
Philosophy Essays Plato's argument for a just life  Plato's Argument For A Just Life Plato's argument for the benefits of a just life is intrinsically linked to his definition of good and its relation to people's desires. He begins by showing that when the objective of a desire is simple (e.g. quenching a thirst), the desire must be correspondingly simple. Since thirst is a simple desire, the man's objective must also be simplistic a... 
Philosophy Essays Poet's use of mockery as diction in poem  Poet's Use of Mockery As Diction in Poem Tom Dinkel The poet's use of mockery as diction conveys his disillusioned attitude toward the men that plan the battles without actually fighting in them. Using the words "If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath," to describe the majors allows the reader to picture the majors as old, fat, out of shape men that spend their days "gu... 
Philosophy Essays Practical cognition  Practical Cognition Theories of Knowledge (Karl Marx) In his early years of writing, Karl Marx's ideas were similar to American Pragmatism, especially his ideas about epistemology. He defines truth in a pragmatic fashion and explains cognition in terms of practical needs of the human being. While some of his ideas were not followed to their logical conclusion, nor made sense, the f... 
Philosophy Essays Predestined fate of oedipus  Predestined Fate of Oedipus In ancient Greek society they believed that ones life is predestined and that ones fate is sealed. What is meant to occur will happen no matter what that person does. In "Oedipus Rex" Oedipus' fate is doomed from his birth because of the actions of his ancestors. Unlike Oedipus most people today don't believe in predestined fate. People can be all they wan... 
Philosophy Essays Psychology  Psychology INTRODUCTION The study of the way people think and behave is called psychology. The field of psychology has a number of sub-disciplines devoted to the study of the different levels and contexts of human thought and behavior. Social psychology, for example, deals with human thought and action in a social context, while physiological psychology is concerned with th... 
Philosophy Essays Richard swinburne's "the problem of evil": god's existence  Richard Swinburne's "The Problem of Evil": God's Existence Philosophers have looked for ways to explain God's existence for centuries. One such argment that the believer must justify in order to maintain the possibility of God's existence is the problem of evil. In his essay, "The Problem of Evil," by Richard Swinburne, the author attempts to explain how evil can exist in a worl... 
Philosophy Essays Society's restraint to social reform  Society's Restraint to Social Reform Of the many chatted words in the social reform vocabulary of Canadians today, the term workfare seems to stimulate much debate and emotion. Along with the notions of self-sufficiency, employability enhancement, and work disincentives, it is the concept of workfare that causes the most tension between it's government and business supporters and it... 
Philosophy Essays Stephen crane's "the open book": cosmic irony  Stephen Crane's "The Open Book": Cosmic Irony by: Sarah Clauer Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat," is thought to be one of the finest stories ever written by an American. Crane uses a theme of cosmic irony. Cosmic irony is the belief that the universe is so large and man is so small that the universe is indifferent to the plight of man. In "The Open Boat," Crane's theme... 
Philosophy Essays The accounts of eros in the "symposium"  The Accounts of Eros in the "Symposium" The word love carries with it many, many different interpretations. In modern day, our views on what is appropriate love is much different from the views from the time of Socrates and Plato. To them love was eros, a direct translation of the word love. However, the word itself wasn't the only thing that was different about love. In Plato's "S... 
Philosophy Essays The censorship in the american society 

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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Many smart people fear that neuroscience undermines free will and moral responsibility. But how? The real threat does not come from determinism. Likewise, the issue is not really about whether brain activity comes before conscious will. As we shall see, the real challenge is to understand mental causation.

Neuroscience cannot undermine free will by establishing determinism for one simple reason: neuroscience cannot establish determinism. Real neuroscience yields only probabilities far below certainty, so it cannot show that any actions are fully determined. Moreover, neuroscientists study only actions in the lab. We cannot study people’s brains while they engage in extended deliberation and finally decide to go to war, have children, or change jobs. A couple would never agree to get married in a pair of brain scanners or with electrodes in their brains unless they were so weird that we likely could not infer from them any conclusion about the rest of us. 

 

 

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Thomas Nadelhoffer

Assistant professor of philosophy and psychology at College of Charleston (SC).

While the free will debate has traditionally been the haunt of philosophers and theologians, a growing number of scientists have recently become increasingly vocal about their skepticism concerning free will (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here). As a result, the free will debate has finally hit the mainstream. One common theme in the way free will has been discussed in the popular press is that recent scientific advances (especially in neuroscience) threaten or undermine our views concerning free and autonomous agency. Unsurprisingly, a number of philosophers and psychologists have taken issue with this kind of scientific skepticism (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here). On their view, the skeptics are wrong both about what free will is and about whether neuroscience shows that we do not have it.

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Derk Pereboom

Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University.

Free will and religion are closely intertwined. Many religious perspectives value human moral responsibility and creativity, for which freedom of the will is often regarded as a requirement. Free will is also taken to be required for explaining how the world’s evils are compatible with the existence of God—God gives us the gift of free will, but the risk taken is that we will use it for evil. On the other hand, for a number of prominent religious views, God’s providential control over everything that happens is essential, and this idea potentially conflicts with human free will. Can everything that happens be a part of God’s providential plan if we can freely will our actions?

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Robin Collins

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Messiah College.

We like to think that we are free, particularly in what philosophers call the libertarian sense of freedom—the sense that some of our actions are not completely determined. Is this compatible with the scientific view of the human person? Many think not. Such people typically claim that the scientific view is that of (metaphysical or reductive) physicalism, according to which we are nothing more than a complex, interacting collection of atoms.

Physicalism implies that there is no singular thing (an “experiencer”) that has experiences and acts, but merely an aggregate of interacting systems that we find convenient to designate as a single entity. As Susan Blackmore states in Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction: “From the scientific point of view there is no need for an owner; no need for an inner experiencer,” even asserting that there are “only multiple parallel processes that give rise to a benign user illusion.” Under this view, since there is no person making decisions, there is no free will of any sort, libertarian or otherwise. 

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Kathleen Vohs

Land O'Lakes Chair in Marketing at the University of Minnesota.

Belief in free will is an ancient idea, but also one that scientists today are increasingly interested in. Research on the topic ranges widely, from whether such a thing as free will exists to what people really believe about it. I have worked on the latter question, and I studied free will beliefs and ethical behavior with my colleague Jonathan Schooler at University of California-Santa Barbara (Vohs & Schooler, 2008).

At a conference nearly 10 years ago—surrounded by highly influential scholars who argued that free will did not exist—Schooler and I wondered whether merely hearing claims that free will is an illusion would cause people to loosen their moral standards and behave unethically. 

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Robert Kane

University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Often we act from a will already formed, but it is “our own free will” by virtue of the fact that we formed it by other choices or actions in the past for which we could have done otherwise. If this were not so, there is nothing we could have ever done differently in our entire lifetimes to make ourselves different than we are—a consequence, I believe, that is incompatible with our being (at least to some degree) “ultimately responsible” for being who and what we are. Such ultimate responsibility is what I believe is required for genuine free will. To act “of one’s own free will,” in other words, is to act from a will “of one’s own free making,” not one that has been formed by others or by causes over which we had no control.

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