I’ve written a PhD thesis on the self and later a book, and whenever I talk about it I go on about how the most credible and widely accepted theory (among philosophers, at least) is counter-intuitive and hard to grasp. Then some cartoon comes along which makes the key points intelligible to children. Inside Out has turned my world upside down.
The idea that unconscious biological forces drive our beliefs and actions would seem to pose a real threat to our free will. We like to think that we make choices on the basis of our own conscious deliberations. But isn’t all that thinking things over irrelevant if our final decision was already written in our genetic code? And doesn’t the whole edifice of personal responsibility collapse if we accept that “my genes made me do it”?
Small thoughts about big subjects; big thoughts about small things; seeds of thought, scatttered to either take root or not; plus short links to longer work. Microphilosophy is the website of the writer Julian Baggini.