Dennett and williams comparison essay

History[ edit ] Punctuated equilibrium originated as a logical consequence of Ernst Mayr 's concept of genetic revolutions by allopatric and especially peripatric speciation as applied to the fossil record. Although the sudden appearance of species and its relationship to speciation was proposed and identified by Mayr in[4] historians of science generally recognize the Eldredge and Gould paper as the basis of the new paleobiological research program.

Dennett and williams comparison essay

Most of the ancient thinkers on the problem were trying to show that we humans have control over our decisions, that our actions "depend on us"and that they are not pre-determined by fate, by arbitrary gods, by logical necessity, or by a natural causal determinism.

Almost everything written about free will to date has been verbal debate about the precise meaning of philosophical concepts like causalitynecessityand other dogmas of determinism.

The "problem of free will" is often described as a question of reconciling "free will" with one or more of the many kinds of determinism. As a result, the "problem of free will" depends on two things, the exact definition of free will and which of the Dennett and williams comparison essay is being reconciled.

There is also an even more difficult reconciliation for " libertarian " free will. How can a morally responsible will be reconciled with indeterminism or chance?

The standard argument against free will is that it can not possibly be reconciled with either randomness or determinism, and that these two exhaust the logical possibilities.

Before there was anything called philosophy, religious accounts of man's fate explored the degree of human freedom permitted by superhuman gods. Creation myths often end in adventures of the first humans clearly making choices and being held responsible.

But a strong fatalism is present in those tales that foretell the future, based on the idea that the gods have foreknowledge of future events.

Anxious not to annoy the gods, the myth-makers rarely challenge the implausible view that the gods' foreknowledge is compatible with human freedom. This was an early form of today's compatibilismthe idea that causal determinism and logical necessity are compatible with free will.

The first thinkers to look for causes in natural phenomena rather than gods controlling events were the Greek physiologoi or cosmologists. Heraclitus, the philosopher of change, agreed that there were laws or rules the logos behind all the change.

The early cosmologists' intuition that their laws could produce an ordered cosmos out of chaos was prescient. Our current model of the universe begins with a state of minimal information and maximum disorder. The physiologoi transformed pre-philosophical arguments about gods controlling the human will into arguments about pre-existing causes controlling it.

The cosmological problem became a psychological problem. Some saw a causal chain of events leading back to a first cause later taken by many religious thinkers to be God. Other physiologoi held that although all physical events caused, mental events might not.

If the mind or soul is a substance different from matter, it could have its own laws different from the laws of nature for material bodies.

The materialist philosophers Democritus and Leucippus, again with extraordinary prescience, claimed that all things, including humans, were made of atoms in a void, with individual atomic motions strictly controlled by causal laws.

Democritus wanted to wrest control of man's fate from arbitrary gods and make us more responsible for our actions. But ironically, he and Leucippus originated two of the great dogmas of determinismphysical determinism and logical necessitywhich lead directly to the modern problem of free will and determinism.

Leucippus stated the first dogma, an absolute necessity which left no room in the cosmos for chance. Some even argued for a great cycle of events an idea borrowed from Middle Eastern sources repeating themselves over thousands of years.

The Pythagoreans, Socrates, and Plato attempted to reconcile an element of human freedom with material determinism and causal law, in order to hold man responsible for his actions. The first major philosopher to argue convincingly for some indeterminism was probably Aristotle.

First he described a causal chain back to a prime mover or first cause, and he elaborated the four possible causes material, efficient, formal, and final. Aristotle did not subscribe to the simplistic "every event has a single cause" idea that was to come later.Many artists, entertainers, and media professionals have publicly questioned the official account of 9/ Several even allege government complicity in the terrible acts of 9/ In his essay.

The Beginning of Selves. Daniel Dennett creates exercising of the empirical procedure to look into what a ‘self’ is. He foremost points out that the ego is an evolutionary thing ; asks the question: how did they infer as animals with egos? His decision: The divergency between ego & A ; other Read More.

Dennett and williams comparison essay

Melodies from a Broken Organ, Cori Reese Educacion y Medernidad - Entre La Utopia y La Buro, Eduardo Terren Whales of the Arctic, Sara Swan Miller The Return of Santa Paws, Nicholas Edwards The Story of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the .

Paul Dumouchel's following essay on Dennett's use of Forced Moves and Good Tricks in DDI shows how a critic must demonstrate understanding before offering appraisal.

Dennett and williams comparison essay

Following these openings, the essays move into a more "philosophical" vein.5/5(2). Saul Kripke is a philosopher and logician and emeritus professor at Princeton. He is best known for reintroducing modal concepts, such as necessity and possibility, with his landmark works Naming and Necessity and Identity and Necessity, as well as his popularizing Gottfried Leibniz's notion of "possible worlds" as a way of analyzing the concepts of 'a priori', 'analytic', and 'necessary'.

Two declared opponents in this debate are Peter van Inwagen (author of An Essay on Free Will, Oxford University Press, ) and Daniel C. Dennett (author of several books including Elbow Room, MIT Press, , which I will be referencing here).

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