Books Magazine

Resolution to Read in May: Mind

By Realizingresonance @RealizResonance


With the crazy news about the Osama raid, I got off track from my original intentions this month and had to publish a couple of articles on the subject of terrorism. But it is time to switch to a less depressing issue. For the month of May the theme for Realizing Resonance is Philosophy of Mind! Next to the topic of Time, Mind and Consciousness are my favorite philosophical discussions to get into, so I am very excited. There are such great areas to investigate in relation to mind, and the mysteries of consciousness are hardly solved. There is free will, the mind-body problem, personal identity, language, emotion, rationality, perception, qualia, and self awareness. With such rich content options Philosophy of Mind is where my head will be for the rest of the month.

I must admit I did not complete my Resolution to Read last month, and this means Heidegger is going to have to wait until later. But I am truly resolved to finish my book choice this month, and to this end I picked a much lighter read.

So my Resolution to Read for May is…

Freedom Evolves by Daniel C. Dennett

In his book, Freedom Evolves, Daniel Dennett provides a naturalistic account of freedom that explains how the aspects of free will that human’s value, such as personal choice, deliberation, and moral responsibility, can be compatible with our notions of causal determinism. He shows that some common assumptions about determinism and free will are illusory. For example, determinism is not the same thing as inevitability, and it does not imply fixed outcomes or no role for deliberated choices. On the other hand, Dennett explains that a libertarian account of free will, which requires a model of consciousness that exploits indeterminist processes, cannot coherently establish a true causal role for an independent agent. In order to account for human freedom of choice and moral responsibility in a deterministic universe, Dennett turns to neo-Darwinian evolution and lays out a scenario of human progress that establishes freedom of will from the ground up through the crucible of survival and social selection. According to Dennett, his explanation of how freedom evolved and works does a better job of explaining human agency and responsibility than either determinism or free will. I am looking forward to this one.

Happy Readings!

Jared Roy Endicott

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