perre066: February 2012 Archives

Free Will and Determinism

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In our text, we are presented with an age old debate - free will v. determinism. This concept is built upon the discovery of our unconscious choices determining our conscious ones. One simple explanation is if I were to put a vending machine in a room with an "honor" system paying method, there is a good chance people will just steal my drinks. However, if I put a poster with eyes (like a stern male face) on it, overlooking the vending machine, there will be an increase in the amount of money left for me to keep. Why does this happen? We are aware enough to realize this is not a real person, it is merely a picture.

As amazing as the brain is, it does have its drawback when decision making. Our anatomically modern brains are built for a prehistoric era, things like endowment effects, loss aversion, framing effects, or other irrational biases no longer play as big of roles. There is still a lot left to uncover, and the more we delve into the brain the more I think we are going to open windows into the amount of free will we have. In my opinion, the amount of free will in our decisions is based on the requirements of the brain to affect that decision. The reason I chose to interrogate this topic is because I'd like to know what I do or do not have control over in my decisions. What can I actually theorize for myself? What are my conscious or unconscious limitations?

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by perre066 in February 2012.

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