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Free Will: A Response to Sam Harris

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3.10  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Do we have free will? Leading atheist Sam Harris says, No! We are just puppets of unconscious forces. Kurt Keefner responds, Yes! Our power to explore the world makes us free. In this extended essay, Keefner answers the arguments in Harris’ 2012 book "Free Will" and then provides a more realistic and nuanced portrait of how we make choices. Ironically, concludes Keefner, H ...more
Kindle Edition, 32 pages
Published May 26th 2012
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Average rating 3.10  · 
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Danyul
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone who has read Free Will by Sam Harris
Shelves: atheism-religion
I am not entirely sure Keefner grasps the points that Harris is trying to make in Free Will.

While making a valid point about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, his view seems to be conflicting. He states:
The atoms or neurons we are made of don’t cause us to be conscious. Our atoms and neurons are conscious. Our atoms and neurons make choices. It’s not that individual atoms and neurons are conscious and make choices, but in the right organization...
But in the following paragraph he
...more
Jonas Serry
Dec 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
His argument begins respectably but disintegrates as he attempts to redefine free will on a shallow basis.
Tucker
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brain
A convincing rebuttal, for reasons I explained on Disruptive Dissertation. This idea makes a lot of sense: what we describe in ourselves as "conscious" is not neatly separable from what we describe in ourselves as "unconscious," and so it isn't precise to say that unconscious processes are always shoving around our conscious processes. Free will makes sense if you consider the entire organism as a package with some unconscious parts, some conscious parts. It's the whole package, not just the conscious side, ...more
David Steinberg
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Keefner's defense of free will is done here in a cogent and concise way, without unnecessary technical jargon common in many philosophical discourses on the subject. He uses plain language to knock down Harris's assertions one by one and this treatise will make a fine addition to the discussion of free will
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