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Found 6 results

  1. In this Big Think video, philosopher Daniel Dennett describes a thought experiment designed to "jangle the nerves" of neuroscientists who claim that we don't have free will. It involves a neurosurgeon who implants a computer chip into a patient's brain and then tells the patient that he no longer has free will, and that the surgeon will be controlling him via the chip 24/7. The patient promptly goes out, acts irresponsibly, and is arrested for some crime. He pleads innocent explaining how the surgeon took away his free will. Yet when asked the surgeon says that it was a joke, he wasn't actuall
  2. Last night I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who has recently begun exploring Objectivism. During that discussion he brought up a point that I had been on somewhat shaky ground with myself. It was on free will and he asked me why one would choose to focus for the very first time. He had already assented to the idea that the most fundamental choice was whether or not to focus which as a corollary means the choice to focus on something, but his question pertained to why anyone makes that choice for the very first time as it cannot have happened by accident. His thinking o
  3. First let me say I have read and believe I understand this concept; One can study what exists and how consciousness functions; but one cannot analyze (or “prove”) existence as such, or consciousness as such. These are irreducible primaries. (An attempt to “prove” them is self-contradictory: it is an attempt to “prove” existence by means of nonexistence, and consciousness by means of unconsciousness.) - Ayn Rand I have read the pages on free will and I accept that free will exists - however in the study of HOW it functions has there ever been an explanation of how man moves the atoms that
  4. Hello, I've been thinking a lot about the question of free will. I've listened to Branden's lectures on the subject and read Rand's articles as well as her answers on the topic in the Q&A booklet. What I do not understand: How can you argue that man's choice to think or not to think, in other words, to focus his mind or not to focus it, is a primary? (Yes, it is in his natrue to do that, but why is the choice free?) How come there weren't simply any deterministic forces that made man decide to think or not to think? Why should man be able to create something out of nothing,
  5. So I saw a thread about free will over here (http://forums.4aynra...showtopic=13394) about free will and a user on the first page of that thread had this to say and since I cannot post on that forum I thought I'd address his points and then make mine he says: First premise: The mind is not physical. (I'll assume initially that this statement is true) Fact: The mind is affected by physical things! Most notably, by chemical compounds that cross the blood brain barrier[i.e. drugs]. There are certain hallucinogens powerful enough to create delusions and illusions indistinguishable fro
  6. Ayn Rand defines free will as the freedom to think or not. But isn't it a circular argument to say that freedom comes from freedom? Where does the freedom come from? Is it outside of cause and effect? Or is man really a prime mover, who can create causes and effects? Thanks for you help.
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