PAGE IN PROGRESS What you see here is a page of my hypertext book POWER of meanings // MEANINGS of power. Initially empty, this page will slowly be filled with thoughts, notes, and quotes. One day, I will use them to write a coherent entry, similar to these completed pages. See this post to better understand my creative process. Thank you for your interest and patience!
“ In historical events great men — so-called — are but labels serving to give a name to the event, and like labels they have the least possible connection with the event itself. Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own free will, is in an historical sense not free at all, but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity.”
we make many decisions in our life (choices) seemingly free, but we are not aware of many influences we experience (other people, circumstances)
Zach's podcast: How does not believing in free will affect one’s life?, with physicist Daniel Whiteson https://behavior-podcast.com/examining-psychological-impacts-of-not-believing-in-free-will-with-physicist-daniel-whiteson/
A critique of free will research, written by James Miles, author of book ‘The Free Will Delusion.’ I agree with a lot of his critiques, as I’ve found a lot of the writing on the topic unnecessary complex, indirect, or just bad. This paper is also interesting because it addresses an important aspect of thinking about this topic: people’s fear that taking away belief in free will will cause people to behave badly, and how this even impacts how academics and researchers talk about free will.
Living Without Free Will, a book by Derek Pereboom, which argues that ethics and legal remedies remain logical and coherent even taking away concepts of free will.
"The appeal of the Stanford prison experiment seems to go deeper than its scientific validity, perhaps because it tells us a story about ourselves that we desperately want to believe: that we, as individuals, cannot really be held accountable for the sometimes reprehensible things we do. As troubling as it might seem to accept Zimbardo’s fallen vision of human nature, it is also profoundly liberating. It means we’re off the hook. Our actions are determined by circumstance. Our fallibility is situational. Just as the Gospel promised to absolve us of our sins if we would only believe, the SPE offered a form of redemption tailor-made for a scientific era, and we embraced it."
"A few years later, after deciding to write a book about Alex’s story, I discovered evidence that he hadn’t told the whole truth about his involvement. When I confronted him, he confessed to me that his choice to participate in the bank robbery was freer and more informed than he had ever let on before. Accepting responsibility was transformative for him. It freed him from the aggrieved victim mindset in which he had been trapped for years. Zimbardo’s “situational forces” excuse had once appeared to give my cousin a way to believe in his fundamental goodness despite his egregious crime, but seeing the personal growth that came with deeper moral reckoning, I began to wonder if it had really done him a service."
"Zimbardo has spent much of the last fifty years answering questions about the darkest six days of his life, in some ways a prisoner of his own experiment’s success. "
am now reading an article about the debunking of the Stanford Prison Experiment, and this essay has some very interesting implications for the conversation about free will. I think it could be interesting for you to consider because I believe that I heard you say (or I read somewhere in your writings) that you are not sure whether people indeed have free will. At the same time, you also talk about how it's important for people to take responsibility for their actions. I think it's interesting because I see a contradiction here: how can you ask for personal responsibility if there is no free will? Honestly, I think there is no simple answer. I myself find this very complicated and paradoxical. I guess, I would say that people do have free will but they also have all sorts of constraints, so we indeed should argue for the importance of taking responsibility for one's actions, but also be empathic and acknowledge how difficult going against one's circumstances can be. It's a huge topic, obviously! I hope you will find the essay I shared above useful for your thought process!