Tag Archives: Freewill

March 04

What counts as a being?

I believe that the most important philosophical question of our time is, what counts as a being? A thing is an object. It doesn’t count as a being. We can use things, manipulate them and subjugate them to our will. If I thrust a shovel into the dirt over and over again to dig a […]

March 21

William James, The Stream of Consciousness and Freewill

William James was trained as a medical doctor at Harvard University and became generally recognized as the first psychologist in America and his first and arguably most significant written work was “The Principles of Psychology” published in 1889. James’s later philosophical work always retained a certain tendency toward the psychological and many of his core ideas […]

Is Freewill compatable with Determinism? Some thoughts on Jonathan Edwards

I am posting today from the beautiful hills of the Tuscany region of Italy and I am about to start a 20 day spiritual retreat with teacher Andrew Cohen. During my travels here I decided to read something aligned to the more spiritual side of American Philosophy. And so, I have been reading about the […]

Is there any Intelligence in the Universe?

I have been reading more about Behaviorism, including the article that Carl sent us by Robert Epstein, so that we could get a little clearer here about exactly what we are looking into.  Maybe I will start with a few definitions of some of the basic learning mechanisms of Behaviorism. Classical Conditioning – Pavlov’s dog:  […]

The Freewill of a Creative System

I am amazed by all of the insightful comments on my last post. It seems that many of us are comfortable with the idea that perhaps freewill is not a characteristic of an individual, but is somehow implied in the system of the individual and its environment. This is what Carl (our behaviorist commentor) has […]

More thoughts on the freedom of so called “Freewill”

“Spinoza says that if a stone which has been projected through the air had consciousness, it would believe that it was moving of its own will . I add to this only that the stone would be right. The impulse given it is for the stone what the motive is for me, and what in […]

The Evolution of Freedom in the Universe

I am inspired by all of your thoughtful and provocative comments to my last post and captivated by this idea that what we experience as freewill is not actually a quality of a human being, but a characteristic of the universe itself as embodied in a human being. As we explore what we know about […]

So what is so FREE about freewill anyway?

Now that we have discussed more about continuity and spontaneity as fundamental aspect of the universe, and opened up the discussion about what Conscious Evolution actually is, it is time to update my thoughts about freewill. In an earlier post I boldly asserted that if there was such a thing as Conscious Evolution there had […]

Conscious Evolution and Free Will?

Part of the controversy over Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has always been its deterministic tone. Darwin saw evolution as happening through the combination of chance variation and natural selection. The theory goes something like this. Individual organisms of any species are born with variations that occur randomly. Some of these variations are inheritable, meaning […]