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Showing Tag: "free will" (Show all posts)

Another good review for "Free Will?"

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, In : Books 
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thought-Provoking Book!July 16, 2012
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This review is from: Free Will?: An investigation into whether we have free will, or whether I was always going to write this book (Paperback)
I recommend this entertaining and well-argued, mind-blowing book in which the author examines a notion we all seem to take for granted in the West, i.e., our dearly beloved notion of free wil...
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Philosophy and knowing about as much as possible (and my free will talk)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, June 17, 2012, In : Philosophy 

So I gave a speech to the Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub group on Thursday night and, if I might say so, it went really well.


Here is some of the feedback from the events page:


“Amazing talk tonight, I'm still attempting to process everything..so many questions :) Thanks Johno Pearce.”


“Fascinating talk on free will tonight by Johno Pearce. Who knew philosophers could be so ... enthusiastic?!”


Which is great to hear – I’m glad I did not disappoint. However, to be ...

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My talk tonight to the Portsmouth Skeptics

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, In : Philosophy 
i am pretty excited about tonight's talk on free will to the Portsmouth Skpetics in a Pub group. Hopefully there'll be a good turn out. Free will seems to really be on the agenda at the moment. People are talking about it and it features on programmes such as Horizon, Radio 4 and suchlike. There is certainly an appetite fro the debate.

Here are the details:


I'll let you know how it goes!

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Determinism vs compatibilism: abrogation vs moral responsibility?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, May 26, 2012, In : Philosophy 
I have been discussing with someone about moral responsibility with regards to determinism, free will and compatibilism. 

Compatibilists often claim, as per David Hume, that the agent has free will because they are not being physically coerced to do something by another agent. However, a hard determinist such as myself will simply claim that that coercion is internal, and not external. The causal process is what makes an agent do something, and this may take its form in other agents, genetics,...
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High praise indeed - and a cable TV slot!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, May 25, 2012, In : Books 
A chap called George Ortega contacted me recently about a video of my free will talk to the South Hampshire Humanists. He runs a small local cable project about free will in the States. Anywho, he is planning on using the video as the backbone for four of his cable shows, which is great.

What is more impressive, is this quote from him:

This is far and away the best refutation of free will available anywhere! I'm only about 1/3rd of the way through it, and Johno Pearce wowed me so completely ...

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How Physics and Neuroscience Dictate Your "Free" Will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : Philosophy 

Physics and neurobiology can help us understand whether we choose our own destiny 

From the Scientific American

By Christof Koch  | Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 27




In a remote corner of the universe, on a small blue planet gravitating around a humdrum sun in the outer districts of the Milky Way, organisms arose from the primordial mud and ooze in an epic struggle for survival that spanned aeons.


Despite all evidenc...

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Of Hardening of Hearts

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 26, 2012, In : Books 
I thought, as I was reading through Free Will? again for a reprint, that it was worth posting this. It is still, to me, a really powerful argument against the sort of God we all know and love....

Of hardening of hearts


Normally, there are two ways of seeing theological determinism. Firstly, the soft type, called soft theological determinism, allows for humans to have free will, even though God knows what they are going to do. The hard type means that humans do not have any free will, and G...

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Behaviour controlled by genes

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 19, 2012, In : Science 

Can Behavior Be Controlled by Genes? The Case of Honeybee Work Assignments

ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2012) — What worker bees do depends on how old they are. A worker a few days old will become a nurse bee that devotes herself to feeding larvae (brood), secreting beeswax to seal the cells that contain brood and attending to the queen.

After about a week, she will progress to other tasks, such as grooming nest mates, ventilating the nest and packing pollen. Only at the end of her life will she be...

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Free Will Talk to the South Hampshire Humanists

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, April 13, 2012, In : Youtube 
Here is the video of the talk I did on free will to the South Hampshire Humanists in January of this year. Let me know what you think. The questions got cut off at the end.

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Being nice is genetically determined?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, In : Science 

Born Nice? Peoples' Niceness May Reside in Their Genes, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2012) — It turns out that the milk of human kindness is evoked by something besides mom's good example. Research by psychologists at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine, has found that at least part of the reason some people are kind and generous is that their genes nudge them toward it.

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New speaking engagement booked - a talk on free will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, In : Philosophy 
I am really pleased to announce that I have another speaking engagement booked in Portsmouth, to talk to the Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub about free will.

The Skeptics in a Pub is a growing secular movement around the country, and I must say, I am really looking forward to it!

Here are the details:

"An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book"

Jonathan Pearce 

Thursday, June 14 2012 at 7:30PM


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consciousness explained?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, March 18, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Here is an excerpt from my first book, Free Will? I have always been interested in consciousness and it remains a fertile battleground for many philosophers:

Consciousness explained?


We have touched lightly on naturalism and the soul, so it would be rude, and a little short-sighted, to forget to mention consciousness. Consciousness is another sticky bog that perhaps potentially undermines any concept of determinism. Unlike the soul, we know consciousness, at least in some way (and possibly...

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Great review of my talk on free will to the SHH.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, February 5, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Thanks to the South Hampshire Humanists who invited me to speak to them about free will last month. They have reviewed the talk in their recent newsletter:

… we were treated to an excellent exposition of the determinist position from our member Jonathan Pearce, suitably accompanied by slides. He began by reminding us of the three main positions — Libertarian (we own the decisions we make), Determinist (everything we do is determined by past conditions) and Compatibilist (Determinism and Fr...

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My first public talk (on free will)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, January 23, 2012, In : Philosophy 
On Sunday, I was lucky enough to have been invited by the South Hampshire Humanists (SHH) to do a talk on free will in Southampton. This was my first public speaking engagement in the world of philosophy and I was both nervous and excited. There was an assembled audience of only 20 people which was nice and intimate. I talked for about 45 minutes and then did a Q and A session afterwards.

Back some months ago I turned up to the SHH drinks in a nearby pub - a social to discuss pertinent subject...
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"Free Will?" Kindle format tidied up.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, In : Books 
Kindle formatting is a nightmare. Not being able to accept tables for free-flowing text is a headache. For my twins book, which had loads of tables, it really proved frustrating. There were some glitches for the Free Will? book too (as well as a duplicated quote). I have now tidied them up and resubmitted a better .prc file for the Kindle version on Amazon. Anyone who has bought an earlier version, let me know (with proof) and I can send you a rectified file. 
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Free tee hee will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, December 16, 2011, In : Humour 

Courtesy The A-Unicrnist

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Free will as an illusion; illusions as commonplace

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, December 16, 2011, In : Philosophy 
When people claim things like free will is an illusion, as i do, then critics often hit back with "Why expect something so obvious to be false? Why not accept it on face value as you do most everything else int eh world?" etc. etc. This is an appeal to intuition as being a form of (reliable) knowledge.

The issue here is that many, many things in our world are not as they seem. Our interpretation of reality is exactly that an interpretation - and there is no guaranteeing its accuracy. Let me re...
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New essay about the soul and how it must be deterministic

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, In : Philosophy 
I've recently written a new essay which I have posted here in the essay section of the website. Please read it and see what you think. Post any comments to it here. Here is the abstract to the essay:

Abstract: This essay sets out to dispel the myth that the soul can be the originator for free will. I will start the essay by establishing the Cartesian idea of what the body is and showing that Descartes and modern biology indicate that the body is a biological machine. After indicating how Desca...
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Jedward - evidence for determinism

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, October 29, 2011, In : Philosophy 



I am going to use an unlikely tool to show the philosophical veracity of determinism – the belief that we have no free will. The evidence I am going to bring to the stand is / are Jedward. For those who don’t know them, they were X-Factor sensations from Ireland – identical twins who are so similar you just can’t tell them apart. And they do EVERYTHING together.


So, let’s look at free will. I do not want to get into the intricacies of free will here (you can read my book...

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God has no free will. The universe is immutably set in stone.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, April 16, 2011, In : Religion 

I was wondering recently about the issue of God’s foreknowledge. It has long been understood that with God’s omniscience, he could not be contrary to his own predictions. This means that if God predicted beforehand that he would make himself a spaghetti bolognaise for supper on Friday, then when it came to making Friday’s supper, he would have no choice but to make the spaghetti bolognaise. This is because if he decided to be contrary to his own prediction and cook, say, pizza, then his...

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