Daniel Dennett (Tufts University): “Autonomy, Consciousness and Freedom”

Autonomy, in one sense—as contrasted with remote
control—is self-control. Self-control is an achievement, not anything
that we are born with. Human consciousness is the arena of
self-control that we inculcate in those human beings we consider
responsible agents. There are large and important differences in
people’s abilities to control themselves, and maintaining a high
standard in our fellow citizens is one of the costs of liberty.
Political freedom is the freedom to move and act at will, and it is a
freedom very much worth wanting. It has nothing to do with ancient
philosophical puzzles about God’s foreknowledge and determinism.

Wednesday, 13 November 19:00
Block C3 Room 1009