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Posts Tagged "determinism"


In Defense of Wishful Thinking

man seeing distorted view of himself in mirror

In my most recent post and others—and in chats with George Johnson and Robert Wright on—I rail against biological determinism and defend free will. Some critics accuse me of letting wishful thinking cloud my judgment when it comes to these issues. They say that objective reality is objective reality, regardless of our subjective attitudes [...]

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Defending Stephen Jay Gould’s Crusade against Biological Determinism

Stephen Jay Gould

I used to be tough on Stephen Jay Gould, the great evolutionary biologist, who died in 2002. I found him self-righteous and pompous, in person and on the page. In an August 1995 profile of him for Scientific American I summed up his worldview, which emphasizes the role of randomness, or "contingency," in shaping life, [...]

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