Freedom Evolves

by DANIEL C. DENNETT | Science |
ISBN: 0140283897 Global Overview for this book
Registered by kittiwake on 2/28/2005
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by kittiwake on Monday, February 28, 2005
from the back cover:

Is there really such a thing as free will?

How can humans make genuinely independent choices if we are just a cluster of cells and genes in a world determined by scientific laws?

How can we still be in control of our lives?

In this myth-shattering book, Daniel Dennett shows that free will does exist. But instead of the traditional view of freedom as an eternal, inchanging condition of our existence, in reality, he reveals, it has evolved; just like life on the planet and the air we breathe. Evolution is the key to resolving this greatest of phillosophical qustions - and to understanding our place in the world as uniquely free agents.

Journal Entry 2 by kittiwake on Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I am sending this book out on a book ring. I hope to get some enthusiastic journal entries that will encourage me to finally get round to reading it when it comes back to me.

mastulela <== here

Edited 2nd April:
I have decided that I don't want this book back so I am turning this ring into a ray.
Mastulela, when you have read this book, please feel free to keep it, wild release it or pass it on.

Journal Entry 3 by Yiremyahu on Monday, March 07, 2005
Arrived safely. Thanks. :)

Sounds interesting...

Journal Entry 4 by Yiremyahu on Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Interesting book, but probably needs more time than I gave it to understand the arguments he uses.

Journal Entry 5 by nut from Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny Ireland on Monday, March 21, 2005
Arrived today. Thank you!

Journal Entry 6 by nut from Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny Ireland on Thursday, April 28, 2005
Very interesting book. I don't think I paid enough attention to the final chapters, but I learnt a lot anyway.

A bit near the end answered the question I asked in The Meme Machine Journal about what exactly "natural selection" means. It seems it's one of those annoying words like "crow", which is both specific and generic. One member of the crow family is the crow, natural selection is both the selection pressure of the environment, whatever causes the pressure and, more specifically, the selection pressure from nature. So, if we wipe out or alter a meme or a organism, it is both natural selection (general, selection pressure sense) and not natural selection (specific, natural sense). He didn't define natural selection like that, but he seemed to use it in both senses.

I found one of the theories he was arguing against quite scary - the indeterministic way. I wouldn't mind some randomness in the unimportant day-to-day choices, but I would hope that when it came to the big decisions I would make the best decision I could given the knowledge and physchology I had at the time, even if it was predictable or wrong, rather than depending on chance. But the guy appears to be his non-deterministic choice making theory more to "will I take this job?", than "what will I eat now?".

Journal Entry 7 by Mastulela from Nuneaton, Warwickshire United Kingdom on Friday, May 13, 2005
Arrived safely today. Rings are like buses, nothing for weeks, then three arrive on the same day. I am glad that I can take my time with this one. Thank you Kittiwake.

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