The Illusion of Free Will

Here is an excellent article on free will from the New York Times. It is easy enough for anybody without any formal training in metaphysics to understand, though perhaps not to the extent that it would cause the visceral grip this question ought to arise on any conscious agent; nevertheless, it's a fun and interesting read in a topic not often discussed in popular media.

It also makes explicit the connection, often ignored, that the question of free will might be dependent on the question of the mind, which is a point I think ought to be emphasized and understood properly, not only by lay people but by actual philosophers.

Perhaps one weakness of the article is that it seems to presuppose the continued endurance of a subject, or self, over time. The question regarding the metaphysics of personal identity, I think, might also determine, just like the question of the mind, the extent to which free will is possible, or even a coherent idea to begin with.

Suppose you subscribe to a bundle theory of mind, perhaps not unlike that of Hume, Wittgenstein, Parfit, or even the Buddha, and deny, consequently, the idea of a continued self that endures through time: if there is no such thing as the self, can there be freedom of will? Who would have this freedom, you? And what are you? A self of some sort? But the self does not exist! If the self does not exist, how can it be free?

Think about it...
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