Determined

Determined: Life Without Free Will

Hardback Published on: 19/10/2023
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Synopsis

One of the world's greatest scientists of human behaviour shows that free will does not exist - and challenges us to rethink the very notion of choice, identity, responsibility, justice, morality and how we live together. Behind every thought, action and experience there lies a chain of biological and environmental causes, stretching back from the moment a neuron fires to the dawn of our species and beyond. Nowhere in this infinite sequence is there a place where free will could play a role. Without free will, it makes no more sense to punish people for antisocial behaviour than it does to scold a car for breaking down. It is no one's fault they are poor or overweight or unsuccessful, nor do people deserve praise for their talent or hard work; 'grit' is a myth. This mechanistic view of human behaviour challenges our most powerful instincts, but history suggests that we have already made great strides toward it: where once we saw demonic possession or cowardice, for example, now we diagnose illness or trauma and offer help. Determined confronts us with our true nature: who and what we are is biology and nothing more. Disturbing and liberating in equal measure, it explores the far-reaching implications for society of accepting this reality. Monumentally difficult as it may be, the reward will be a far more just and humane world.

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781847925534
  • Number of pages: 528
  • Weight: 779g
  • Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 45 mm

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