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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Can we live without free will?

The New Scientist
Originally published on August 9, 2012

New research has reignited the debate about whether humans truly have free will. But what difference would it make if we didn't?

DOES it matter if we have free will? Science has been casting doubt on the concept almost from its beginnings. At first, it was the laws of physics that gave pause for thought. The Newtonian "clockwork universe", in which everything unfolds predictably from any given starting position, seemingly affords little scope for human autonomy.

That deterministic vision was overthrown by the introduction of quantum randomness. This hasn't saved free will, though. On the contrary, it has confused the concept of human agency. But few of us see this as reason to abandon our understanding of how free will operates in our everyday lives.

The entire article is here.
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