Philosophy Ripped From The Headlines!, Issue #18, 4 (May 2019): Why We Should Be Really Happy About Being Moist Robots With “Free Will.”

By Hugh Reginald


1. “Man As Industrial Palace”

Aeon, 2019


2. “Yes, Determinists, There Is Free Will”

By George Musser


3. Some Follow-Up Thoughts For Further Reflection and Discussion

Is the following argument sound? If so, why? If not, why not?

  1. By deep free agency, I mean that free agency is causally efficacious in a way that is just as basic in physical nature as any other efficacious natural cause.
  2. And by deep moral or non-moral responsibility for X, I mean (i) that X is something you chose or did yourself, whose objective moral value flows from and directly attaches to your freely willed choice or action, and (ii) that deep moral responsibility requires free will — if you weren’t able to choose or do X, without being in any way compelled or prevented by irresistible inner or outer forces, then you couldn’t be deeply morally or non-morally responsible for X.
  3. Now according to Daniel Dennett, Jenann Ismael, Christian List, and other contemporary philosophers, although we are really nothing but highly complex biological machines that operate according to either deterministic or indeterministic (i.e., probabilistic, statistical principles) — hence nothing but what Fritz Kahn so aptly calls “industrial palaces” and what Dennett calls “moist robots” — nevertheless (i) we also have so-called free will, aka “free will,” in the sense that we can also really be described in such a way that it seems to us as if we have deep free agency, even though we do not actually have deep free agency, and (ii) we should be really happy about that.
  4. Nevertheless, by telling us that we really are nothing but moist robots, and have at best “free will,” and that we should also be really happy about that, they are engaging in nothing but scientistic philosophical apologetics, and, even worse, they are providing the philosophical ideology of corporate capitalist masters convincing their wage-slaves, via gaslighting strategies, that they should be really happy about their mental and physical-economic slavery.
  5. Therefore, we should thoroughly criticize and firmly reject the doctrines of these scientistic philosophical apologists and corporate capitalist philosophical gaslighters, and instead develop explanatorily adequate and politically emancipatory metaphysical theories of deep free agency.


4. Two Links For Supplementary Reading


5. This installment of Ripped! can be downloaded HERE:




ISSUE #18, 3 (May 2019):


Philosophy Ripped From The Headlines! is a sub-project of the online mega-project Philosophy Without Borders, which is home-based on Patreon here.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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