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(SCIENCE and PHILOSOPHY – continued)

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SCIENCE and PHILOSPHY (4 of 4)

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Free Will

Some suggest that our behavior is genetically determined. They recognize an evolution in genetic material that governs instincts, and they describe this as a process that matches the environment of our forebears and ourselves. They describe this as a part of the biological evolution of creatures just as is body structure.

Is our behavior so governed by instinct that our choices are pre-determined? Such a conclusion is too absolutistic for science and, therefore, is not supported by scientific research. It is a question for philosophers. Most of us believe in our ability to make choices despite our instinctive urges. At the same time, we might believe that that our choices are limited, that we make choices among alternatives, but that we do not will the alternatives.

Sources

Mind: A Brief Introduction (Fundamentals of Philosophy), by John R Searle, 2005

"René Descartes," Wikipedia

"René Descartes," Standord Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Philosophy of Science," Wikipedia

"Criticism of postmodernism", Wikipedia

"Metaphysics," Wikipedia

Additional Reading

Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy, (available at Google Books) by Sandra Mitchell, 2010

Copyright © 2010-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.