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How does Free Will manifest itself in human nature?

How does Free Will manifest itself in human nature?

September 8, 2023

Question: How does Free Will manifest itself in human nature?

 Answer: Consciousness is a natural, emergent capacity of the brain/mind, and it manifests itself volitionally in three ways, I think. One is the issue of intensity. We all have the capacity to kind of dial up the intensity, so to speak; to let our minds be more relaxed, or sort of thinking or attending to things more with concentrating, so that's under our control.

 Another is the range of focus. We can focus in, very tightly on particular things or let our minds, our perceptual capacities also expand out to take in more info, think of the zoom lens on a camera.

 The third thing is this issue of initiating action or not. We can think abstractly, imaginatively, in hypothetical mode so to speak. We can also decide to pull the trigger and act on the basis of our ideas.

Stephen Hicks Ph.D.
About the author:
Stephen Hicks Ph.D.

Stephen R. C. Hicks is a Senior Scholar for The Atlas Society and Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University. He is also the Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship at Rockford University.

He is author of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010),  Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016), Liberalism Pro and Con (Connor Court, 2020), Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond (with Michael Newberry, 2021) and Eight Philosophies of Education (2022). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. His writings have been translated into 20 languages.

He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland, Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, England, and Visiting Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland.

His B.A. and M.A. degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

His Open College podcast series is published by Possibly Correct Productions, Toronto. His video lectures and interviews are online at CEE Video Channel, and his website is StephenHicks.org.  

Instagram Takeover Questions:

Every week we solicit questions from our 100K followers on Instagram (a social media platform popular with young people. Once a month we feature Stephen Hicks' answers to select questions, transcripts below:

Also several articles, selected for likely interest to Objectivist audiences:

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