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How New Default Consensus Realities Instantiate

7 March 2024

Dennett on Free Will

by metavalent

Does free will exist? Closer to truth seems: probably yes and no; both, and; across a wide spectrum of causes and conditions.

Watch The Most Important Philosophical Question Of Our Time if the embed does not behave nicely.

If a spectrum, like the rest of nature, the question then becomes, what are the units of measure, and how do we measure – similar to our investigation of will power – the “amount” and “capacity” of free will? What influences increase or decrease the amount of free will available to an individual, organization, or civilization?

Free Will is how I personally know I’m accountable and responsible for every choice in my life. At the same time, I’ve learned the hard way that many of the poorest choices I’ve made in life were undeniably shaped by causal roots in experiences over which I had no control whatsoever. This is becoming increasingly clear through research that demonstrates causal connects between trauma, especially childhood trauma, and all kinds of personality disorders.

So, does free will exist? Yes, and no. Like mental health, personality traits, and so much in life, free will seems to exist on a spectrum. So maybe a useful take-away for our interpersonal lives: “handle with care.”

Compare and contrast with Robert Sapolsky’s recent take.

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tags: metavalent