: Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (Audible Audio Edition): Daniel C Dennett, Don Hagen, LLC Gildan Media: Books. Dan Dennett’s Elbow Room is pretty good. It’s about free will, a perennial subject that’s intriguing for any person who’s ever stopped to wonder if the regularities. I think anything by Daniel Dennett is worth reading. It could be argued that this is because I find his ideas congenial, but in fact the causality is the other way.

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It reaches a conclusion that I am in total agreement with, and it does so without “cheating” by avoiding any of the complex issues rennett the way. In a final chapter, he takes up the problem of how anyone can ever be guilty, and what the rationale is for holding people responsible and even, on occasion, punishing them.

Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting

They are part of the causal fabric and they affect the outcome. Amazon Music Stream millions denneett songs. On the other hand, modern biology generally investigates humans as though the processes at work in them follow the same biological principles as those in wasps. Jul 13, Charles rated it did not like it.

Elbow Room, by Daniel Dennett

Sign in to use this feature. It is tremendously difficult to cast fresh light on a topic that has become so hackneyed, but Dennett succeeds admirably.

Good to read after reading Sam Harris’s “Free Will”. As a result of the sculptural method described above, Elbow Room feels less like a single, sustained course of argumentation than a series of essays, circling round the central question while leaving many related questions less than fully developed.


In the most specific circumstance actual events eobow, he suggests there is only one option left to us.

If people are determined to act as they do, then what about personal responsibility? Dennett discusses many types of free will Since Dennett wrote Elbow Room there has been an ongoing attempt by some scientists to answer this question by suggesting that the brain is a device for controlling quantum indeterminacy so as to construct behavioral choice. In the end free will isn’t some fundamental magical stuff that we have happen to uniquely posses, but a sort of meta-phenomenon that, like the intentional stance, is a useful description of part of the human experience.

But, again one does not have to be free to make such a distinction. The key, however, is that we do have interests, both from our genetic heritage, and those that have arisen from our own self-reflection, and that by virtue of our genetic heritage, we are actually well-equipped to respond to circumstances in an appropriate way.

Jan 13, Adam rated it it was ok. The deeper philosophical issue of free will can be framed as a paradox. There is of course no guarantee that we are correct in this, and indeed, there is almost certainly a mismatch between the interests of our genes, and what we think our interests are as people. Does away with the pernicious myth of incompatibalism the view that Freewill and determinism are incompatible.

Elbow Room (book) – Wikipedia

Request removal from index. Although this behaviour seems purposive to our anthropomorphizing eyes and brainsit can actually be revealed as the result of rather elaborate programming. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? A chapter on “self-made selves” discusses the idea of self or agent to see how it can be kept from disappearing under the onslaught of science.


Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too. Determinism is not fatalism.

Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. At this point, it may seem as if we have ventured rather far afield from free will, without gaining any ground. Dan Dennett’s Elbow Room is pretty good. Dennett’s alternatives are small solace.

This goes all the way up denntt the movement of the planets all the way down to rokm the cells in your mother’s uterus divided to make you. He clearly believes we are comparable to meat robots of some kind.

Dennett emphasizes control over libertarian choice.

Daniel C. Dennett, Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting – PhilPapers

This insect follows a series of genetically programmed steps in preparing for egg laying. It’s an extremely uncomfortable idea for many people, and Dennett doesn’t spend a great deal of time acclimati Interesting read, but difficult: For Dennett, this is the bedrock from which everything else can be constructed.

How will this creature have a “freer will” than us? Dennett also develops answers, or at least the start rom some answers, that embrace the possi What does it mean to have free will?