Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Strict determinism is mostly the same as the sort of strict freedom(ism?) I've been promoting. The important thing is that, in both, the distinction disappears and consciousness is cast as a non-transcendent bit of world operating on the same principles as everything else. Once the distinction is gone, that ontological discussion is pretty much over. The terms "freedom" and "determinism" reduce to "world" because whatever it is, it just is, whether you're aware of it or not, whether you like it or not, and it is that with or without you. Let me suggest that the terms are extracted from everyday human experience and then misapplied. When we talk about freedom in a political context, or an everyday personal context, we mean, or should mean, something different, something very real, and verifiably so -- (I suggest, tentatively) a consciousness's ability to control a locale. Alternatively, (and there's admittedly a huge gap between the two definitions) a human's ability to do that.

The questions that matter include: the range of possibilities available to consciousness, how that system works, how it interacts with other systems (especially bodily unconsciousness), what we mean by control, what kind of local control we have to lastingly change processes for the better (however defined), whether linguistic efforts like deconstruction or other fields of inquiry offer hope for lasting change, whether focusing on physically changing environments is wiser, how systemic resilience works in a political context, and so on. None of these hinge on the ontological question.

No comments: