Freedom Evolves

Freedom Evolves

3.8 (2,035 ratings by Goodreads)

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Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers yes! Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original arguments drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 25.4mm | 317.51g
  • Penguin Publishing Group
  • Penguin Books
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0142003840
  • 9780142003848
  • 413,618

Review quote

?Dennett has taken on really big issues, made them clear, dealt with them seriously and given us much on which to reflect. . . . Crisp and critically insightful.? ("The Washington Post Book World") One of the most original thinkers of our time.? ("Science")show more

Table of contents

freedom evolvesPreface Chapter 1: Natural Freedom Learning What We Are I Am Who I Am The Air We Breathe Dumbo's Magic Feather and the Peril of Paulina Chapter 2: A Tool For Thinking About Determinism Some Useful Oversimplifications From Physics to Design in Conway's Life World Can We Get The Deus ex Machina? From Slow-motion Avoidance to Star Wars The Birth of Evitability Chapter 3: Thinking About Determinism Possible Worlds Causation Austin's Putt A Computer Chess Marathon Events without Causes in a Deterministic Universe Will the Future Be Like the Past? Chapter 4: A Hearing For Libertarianism The Appeal of Libertarianism Where Should We Put the Much-needed Gap? Kane's Model of Indeterministic Decision-making "If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything" Beware of Prime Mammals How Can It Be "Up to Me"? Chapter 5: Where Does All The Design Come From? Early Days The Prisoner's Dilemma E Pluribus Unum? Digression: The Threat of Genetic Determinism Degrees of Freedom and the Search for Truth Chapter 6: The Evolution Of Open Minds How Cultural Symbionts Turn Primates into Persons The Diversity of Darwinian Explanations Nice Tools, but You Still Have to Use Them Chapter 7: The Evolution Of Moral Agency Benselfishness Being Good in Order to Seem Good Learning to Deal with Yourself Our Costly Merit Badges Chapter 8: Are You Out Of The Loop? Drawing the Wrong Moral Whenever the Spirit Moves You A Mind-writer's View A Self of One's Own Chapter 9: Bootstrapping Ourselves Free How We Captured Reasons and Made Them Our Own Psychic Engineering and the Arms Race of Rationality With a Little Help from My Friends Autonomy, Brainwashing, and Education Chapter 10: The Future Of Human Freedom Holding the Line against Creeping Exculpation "Thanks, I Needed That" Are We Freer Than We Want to Be? Human Freedom Is Fragile Bibliography Indexshow more

Rating details

2,035 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 28% (576)
4 36% (738)
3 26% (521)
2 7% (148)
1 3% (52)
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