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L.Kelly-Bowditch's picture

Freedom Evolves

For my paper, I found a review of another of Dennett's books, Freedom Evolves.

In this book, he apparently expands upon his ideas of free will that began to take shape in Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Dennett is out to prove that free will is a product of evolution, both biological and cultural. He talks about how humans evolved to have empathy, weigh decisions, etc. because it was beneficial to the continuation of our species. These traits resulted in brains capable of believing in (and wanting, according to Dennett) free will. Culturally, self agency and responsibility has come to be a basis of our societies through punishment, etc.

The ideas presented in this article helped me broaded my ideas on free will, but I agree with the reviewer that I'm not completely satisfied, despite Dennett's efforts.


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