Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Free Will

Expand Messages
  • Charles Vermont
    ... I recently read a biography of Sartre, and throughout it the writer kept on making the point that Sartre and de Beauvoir had nothing but contempt for what
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 6, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      ds wrote:

      >Personally, I think the whole concept of "free will" is a bit shaky and I can't understand why Sartre would put so much weight on it.<

      I recently read a biography of Sartre, and throughout it the writer kept on making the point that Sartre and de Beauvoir had nothing but contempt for what they called bourgeois morality'. I suppose it was this passionate dislike of contemporary manners and behaviour which made them so interested in free will. It seems to me that it was during the 1939-45 war that they really got going with their views since at that time it looked as though the whole 'old order' in France would disappear. After all, the Germans had found it easy to invade and occupy the country so the 'old guard' were discredited.

      ds also mentioned the way our choices are influenced by >experience, social conditioning, instinct, etc< Isn't the important point here that free will means we acknowledge that we could make alternative choices if we had chosen to do so? Surely how we arrive at the final decision is a matter of personal choice?

      Charles Vermont
      London, England
    • ds
      Sure, but isn t it also possible that what we perceive as free will is only just an automatic response our brain gives when confronted with a situation? It
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 6, 1999
      • 0 Attachment
        Sure, but isn't it also possible that what we perceive as "free will" is
        only just an automatic response our brain gives when confronted with a
        situation? It incorporates reason, experience, instinct etc all into this
        automated response, but the individual, who is merely observing these
        processes believes that he/she consciously controlled the decision because
        the individual feels that he/she "is" the decision making process (the
        mind). Is this not possible? Personally, I'm in between behaviorism and free
        will, I can see the behaviorists points, but I've also thought that maybe,
        the mind, being non-physical is not subject to the "laws" of the physical
        world, including laws of causality. A thought I had that kind of supported
        this was that thoughts can disappear and reappear; matter/energy cannot do
        this...just a thought, though

        daniel

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Charles Vermont
        To: Existentialism List
        Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 1999 6:19 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Free Will


        ds wrote:

        >Personally, I think the whole concept of "free will" is a bit shaky and I
        can't understand why Sartre would put so much weight on it.<

        I recently read a biography of Sartre, and throughout it the writer kept on
        making the point that Sartre and de Beauvoir had nothing but contempt for
        what they called bourgeois morality'. I suppose it was this passionate
        dislike of contemporary manners and behaviour which made them so interested
        in free will. It seems to me that it was during the 1939-45 war that they
        really got going with their views since at that time it looked as though the
        whole 'old order' in France would disappear. After all, the Germans had
        found it easy to invade and occupy the country so the 'old guard' were
        discredited.

        ds also mentioned the way our choices are influenced by >experience, social
        conditioning, instinct, etc< Isn't the important point here that free will
        means we acknowledge that we could make alternative choices if we had chosen
        to do so? Surely how we arrive at the final decision is a matter of personal
        choice?

        Charles Vermont
        London, England
      • yeoman
        Lets just make the subject free will , since this is what we are talking about. Sartre has said that we are condemned to the freedom of choice. An article I
        Message 3 of 5 , May 11, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Lets just make the subject "free will", since this is what we are talking about.

          Sartre has said that we are "condemned" to the freedom of choice.

          An article I found says:
          ***************************************
          Existentialism


          Philosophical movement oriented toward two major themes,

          - the analysis of human existence and

          - the centrality of human choice.



          Existentialism's chief theoretical energies are thus devoted to questions about ontology and decision. It traces its roots to the writings of S. Kierkegaard and F. Nietzsche. As a philosophy of human existence, existentialism found its best 20th-cent. exponent in K. Jaspers; as a philosophy of human decision, its foremost representative was J.-P. Sartre. Sartre finds the essence of human existence in freedom--in the duty of self-determination and the freedom of choice--and therefore spends much time describing the human tendency toward "bad faith," reflected in humanity's perverse attempts to deny its own responsibility and flee from the truth of its inescapable freedom.

          ***********



          What has been said, in discussion, is that we are subject to "programming". This is true. The brain seeks to find or develop patterns that we can follow. This saves us from having to do everything from scratch. But the existence of programming, does not mean that we do not have free will. We can still choose our behaviour based upon a new evaluation of this programming. If we had no ability, in this regard, then there would not be new behaviour and new philosophies.



          eduard


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • C. S. Wyatt
          A question in a course I am taking: How free are we when most information is controlled by large media, government regulations on broadcasting, and the
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 13, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            A question in a course I am taking:

            How free are we when most information is "controlled" by large media,
            government regulations on broadcasting, and the expense of seeking
            alternative media?

            Personally, I cannot understand someone claiming he or she cannot
            locate alternative views, extra data, and the like. I think it is
            pretty easy to read whatever you want to find. However, many of my
            colleagues seem to think the world is controlled by "dark forces" of
            the capitalist economic system.

            I believe deeply in free will, or at least the choice to have free
            will or compromise. I admit to compromise on a regular basis... but by
            choice!

            - CSW
          • Trinidad Cruz
            One could argue that there is a great government conspiracy now, but I do not think that is the case. Louis Farakhan calls this country AmeriKKKa, and argues
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 14, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              One could argue that there is a great government conspiracy now, but I
              do not think that is the case. Louis Farakhan calls this country
              AmeriKKKa, and argues vehemently that the government has conspired to
              keep the black man down. I do not think that is entirely the case.
              Democracy is working in the sense that this present government
              reflects the majority view of the general public on specific
              philosophical and material issues.Philosophically it is failing
              because the general public is afraid and has a generally indefensible
              cosmological view.There is no question that current events reflect an
              agenda. I do not think it can be characterized as a conspiracy. It is
              only a reflection of the majority view of the people. There are men in
              positions of power in many areas who simply agree with this government
              and are acting out their beliefs. In government it means nothing. In
              the media it means nothing. In business it means nothing. It's more
              like people who agree with one another talking to each other for
              encouragment.In the legal system, and the educational system, it has
              the potential to be lastingly detrimental. In the scientific community
              it could be the final human tragedy. The government should keep its
              nose out of science except to sign a check here or there. Good science
              should be detached even from capitalism to continue to progress. That
              has not been the case here for a long long time.I would define the
              "dark force" at work in this case of scientific endeavor as
              "stupidity".
              tc
              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@t...> wrote:
              >
              > A question in a course I am taking:
              >
              > How free are we when most information is "controlled" by large media,
              > government regulations on broadcasting, and the expense of seeking
              > alternative media?
              >
              > Personally, I cannot understand someone claiming he or she cannot
              > locate alternative views, extra data, and the like. I think it is
              > pretty easy to read whatever you want to find. However, many of my
              > colleagues seem to think the world is controlled by "dark forces" of
              > the capitalist economic system.
              >
              > I believe deeply in free will, or at least the choice to have free
              > will or compromise. I admit to compromise on a regular basis... but by
              > choice!
              >
              > - CSW
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.