The Reality Report: Episode 122

Friday, 13 July 2018

Episode 122

The seventh episode in a series discussing free will with Mark Taylor. We continue to compare the mysteries of consciousness and free will and review the various positions. Daniel Dennett's perspective gets a bit more airtime before I bring up the religious concept of the soul and René Descartes' suggestion that it interfaces with the nervous system via the pineal gland, asking how that would affect the idea of free will. Mark brings things back to the "causes versus reasons" approach to free will and identifies as central the existence of sufficiently sophisticated biological architecture to support reasons for behaviour. In response, I bring up the matter of hypnotees and experimental subjects with no corpus callosum joining their brain hemispheres, where spurious reasons are unconsciously retrofitted to behaviours. Mark points out that the human world (urban environments, etc.) does look very much like it has underlying reasons behind its form, which leads me to bring up ants' nests...


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