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Paul Grobstein's picture

Piano keys and beyond

"I do see myself as ... constantly being played upon by forces outside my control."

Yep, me too.

"Being a piano key is not ... as limiting as it seems."

Yep, that's Dennett's position (and that of contemporary "compatibilist" philosophers in general). See also Dennett's Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Having and Freedom Evolves.

But maybe there's more than just "forces outside my control"? Or at least could be if we "encourage people to, as William James put it, "believe in free will" so as to make it a greater part of all of our lives" (see The Brain as a Learner/Inquirer/Creator).

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