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    Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (Bradford Books) (Paperback) By (author) Daniel C. Dennett

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    DescriptionAnyone who has wondered if free will is just an illusion or has asked 'could I have chosen otherwise?' after performing some rash deed will find this book an absorbing discussion of an endlessly fascinating subject. Daniel Dennett, whose previous books include Brainstorms and (with Douglas Hofstadter) The Mind's I, tackles the free will problem in a highly original and witty manner, drawing on the theories and concepts of several fields usually ignored by philosophers; not just physics and evolutionary biology, but engineering, automata theory, and artificial intelligence.In Elbow Room, Dennett shows how the classical formulations of the problem in philosophy depend on misuses of imagination, and he disentangles the philosophical problems of real interest from the "family of anxieties' they get enmeshed in - imaginary agents, bogeymen, and dire prospects that seem to threaten our freedom. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too.Elbow Room begins by showing how we can be "moved by reasons" without being exempt from physical causation. It goes on to analyze concepts of control and self-control-concepts often skimped by philosophers but which are central to the questions of free will and determinism. 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. Dennett then sees what can be made of the notion of acting under the idea of freedomdoes the elbow room we think we have really exist? What is an opportunity, and how can anything in our futures be "up to us"? He investigates the meaning of "can" and "could have done otherwise," and asks why we want free will in the first place.We are wise, Dennett notes, to want free will, but that in itself raises a host of questions about responsibility. 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.Daniel C. Dennett is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. Elbow Room is an expanded version of the John Locke Lectures which he gave at Oxford University in 1983.A Bradford Book.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Elbow Room

    Title
    Elbow Room
    Subtitle
    The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Daniel C. Dennett
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 212
    Width: 142 mm
    Height: 226 mm
    Thickness: 13 mm
    Weight: 159 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780262540421
    ISBN 10: 0262540428
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25220
    BIC E4L: PSY
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: JM
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.3
    B&T General Subject: 670
    B&T Merchandise Category: MAJ
    Ingram Subject Code: PH
    Libri: I-PH
    BISAC V2.8: PHI016000
    LC subject heading:
    DC21: 123.5
    BISAC V2.8: PSY008000
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 123.5
    BISAC V2.8: PHI007000
    LC classification: BJ1461 .D426 1984
    Thema V1.0: QDHR, JMR, QDT
    Publisher
    MIT Press Ltd
    Imprint name
    MIT Press
    Publication date
    21 November 1984
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass.
    Author Information
    Daniel C. Dennett is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He is the author of SweetDreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness(MIT Press, 2005, 2006) and other books.