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Great Philosophical Debates: Free Will and Determinism

Lu par : Shaun Nichols
Durée : 12 h et 26 min
5,0 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

Do you make your own choices or have circumstances beyond your control already decided your destiny? For thousands of years, this question has intrigued and perplexed philosophers, scientists, and everyone who thinks deliberately about how they choose to live and act. For if free will makes us accountable for our choices, does the opposite hold true, that determinism absolves us of responsibility?The implications of how we resolve this great question can affect everything from the small choices we make every day to our perspective on criminal justice and capital punishment. Now you can begin - or continue - your own exploration of this fundamental issue in a series of thought-provoking lectures from an award-winning scholar acclaimed as one of the most innovative thinkers now working at the intersection of philosophy and psychology.

Beginning with an explanation of the fundamental approaches to this debate, Professor Nichols prepares you for an in-depth study of the complexities of free will and determinism. You learn what great thinkers through the ages have believed about the choices we make and understand how we might deal with their implications.

Professor Nichols looks at each side of every argument, creating a balanced perspective that invites you to come to your own conclusions about whether or not we control our lives.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Great Philosophical Debates: Free Will and Determinism

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Global
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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour A Texan 2
  • A Texan 2
  • 13/02/2015

This will challenge how you think!

Free will vs Determinism is one of those questions that I've always struggled to wrap my head around. How to reconcile what is clearly a universe whose parts are governed by well understood and well described forces and laws with human behavior that, at least for most of us, appears to entail acts of free will?

First off - this series of lectures from the Great Courses series doesn't settle the argument. Not only I, but philosophers in general are still struggling over it. However, what this course does and does well is introduce the various thoughts and concepts, both historical and current, on the nature of free will.

Cases are made from different approaches for both sides - that Free Will is true or that Free Will is false. These lectures cover the first half of the course and give me a lot of what I was expecting to find.

The later lectures that make up the second half of the course build on this and go in directions I didn't expect. Offering more abstract discussions on what free will really means. In addition, there are lectures bringing in the results and observations of neuroscience and speculations about what they mean to the free will consideration. Finally, there's discussion about morality, crime and punishment considered both from the notion that free will is true as well as the implications of determinism being true.

I found the lecturer easily listenable - neither put to sleep monotone, nor excessively dramatic. Overall I found the course interesting and challenging. It's helped me better understand my own beliefs and given me some new things to consider. I rate it a high success. This is my first exposure to one of The Great Courses products since they became available on Audible and I look forward to exploring other titles.

14 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brett
  • 01/07/2015

Why Are You Reading This Review?

Are you reading this review because of free will or have all the variables that comprise "you" lead you to read this review? Typical scientific reasoning suggests that if you knew all of the variables contributing to an outcome, then the laws of nature could predict the outcome. Why then do we think that we are the exception to this logic? These lectures tackle these types of questions.

The scope of these lectures is too vast to summarize easily. Indeed, sometimes I felt lost amongst all of the different schools of thought. The content of these lectures is approachable but advanced. It brings together many different philosophical ideas. The later lectures were more accessible as they touched on the application of these philosophical ideas to concepts such as crime and punishment, brain function, and quantum mechanics.

This is not a lecture series I would recommend to someone new to philosophy or to someone that has only a passing interest in philosophy. These lectures require careful listening and some thought. I would, however, recommend them to someone that is very interested in philosophy. I enjoyed them.

14 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Peter
  • 11/10/2016

#TeamDeterminism

Any additional comments?

This was the second great courses audiobook I've done, so I had a decent idea of what to expect on the style and depth of the material. In that respect, it was deep enough to get a good understanding of the topic, but probably not deep enough for someone whose done dedicated research into it before. For me, coming from some philosophy courses at university, I had a decent understanding of the concepts already, but I never delved into it much. Based on that, I really enjoyed this course.

The lectures all had clear points and were well connected to each other and the main topic. The philosophies of each argument seemed well summarised and nicely explained in each case. The narrator/lecturer spoke in a natural and expressive manner which gave me the impression that he was just as excited to be teaching this course as I was about learning the concepts. There were a couple of instances where I lost the train of thought a bit, but those were more from my internal diversions on thinking about the topics and not paying enough attention to what was being said.

I particularly enjoyed how the lectures were structured by going mostly chronologically on when the different concepts were developed. Some of the later lectures weren't quite as interesting since they went more into the legal and moral implications of some of the arguments of each side, but that's not to say they weren't still quite enjoyable and interesting to think about.

Based on the course, I've definitely been swayed to the determinist side. I actually came to that conclusion quite early on and it was fun to have internal arguments with myself based on arguments both against determinism and also interpretations and justifications for determinism that were not in line with my view on it. I honestly can't think of any noteworthy issues regarding the course and therefore I'd highly recommend this course for anyone even mildly curious on the topic.

5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Bonk
  • 29/01/2015

Superb

Absolutely fantastic. Best course yet. The instructor was incredible. The topic was timely and relevant. I feel that I benefited from this experience.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20/05/2017

It's a good lecture. BUT So Biased!!

Failed to keep up his promise of being unbiased. He didn't draw on the most recent studies from Neuroscience that we do have free will. Evidence from Neuroplasticity and the impact of Deliberate Practice really shows that we have free will, ability to change our habitual way of thinking, behaving, and go out of our characters.

Human minds are not subjected to Cause-Effect chains, and this can be seen from William James's 2-stage model and Bob Doyle's Cogito model. The Professor seems to believe in Reductionism and Free Will Skepticism, however, fails to examine a lot of compelling opposing views from Compatibilism and Free Will's camp

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Schmoopy
  • 30/06/2020

Good Content, Bad Title

I’m at odds with myself as to how I should rate this course. On the one hand, I am greatly impressed by the high degree of expertise and engagement that Shaun Nichols delivers in this course. That’s not a surprise to anyone familiar with Dr. Nichols work. On the other hand, I am greatly disappointed with the direction of the course. Again, probably not surprising to anyone familiar with Dr. Nichols work. Dr. Nichols is an experimental philosopher, so it is certainly no surprise to see him utilize psychological studies to reinforce free will skepticism. Of course, had this course not been labeled as a debate between free will and determinism, I would have no problem giving this a five star rating. This course was not a debate, but rather a defense of determinism in the face of libertarian objections. After a few lectures to define the traditional views, the course focuses primarily on experimental philosophy and its impact on our intuitions about free will and morality. But can I rate something I tremendously enjoyed and found highly fascinating less than a five? Had the course been entitled “Experimental Philosophy, Free Will & Ethics,” then the answer would be no. With that seemingly small change, I would not have had the slightest degree of disappointment; in all regards, that course would have been perfect. Instead, I will rate it a four, but not because of anything on Dr. Nichols part. The blame for my rating rests entirely with the Teaching Company and it’s failure to appropriately name the course.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09/02/2020

More than what I bargained for!!

Going into this title I was very skeptical but it was a philosophical debate and I had very little understanding about the subject, I found myself obsessed however listening to it almost through completion in 2 days. I learned so much from the thought-provoking, challenging and enjoyable

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  • Amadon
  • 08/11/2019

A very unique/novel approach to free will!

These were very entertaining and lively lectures. I especially enjoyed some of the lectures on the history of free will. There was a heavy focus on skepticism about free will and moral responsibility.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 25/08/2019

a good overview of many competing idees

the lecturers offer a fairly well-rounded diversity of ideas without specifically recommending one side or the other. wouldn't it be great if all college professors were this unbiased? certainly gives the reader fuel to do further research on either side of this debate.

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  • Richard
  • 06/07/2019

Well worth the time to listen

I've listened to a lot of courses and this one is right up there with some of the best of them. The person who complained about his stumbling over words seemed to be exaggerating. He does, but it's not enough to distract from the subject..