Two guys walk into a bar. . . and discuss free will

Why Evolution Is True

Yes, that happened. During the TED Summit in Banff, Canada, Sam Harris managed to waylay Dan Dennett into a recorded discussion of their differences about free will. As you might recall, Sam published a short book on free will, with the eponymous title, and Dan went after Sam in a rather ascerbic way. (Dan is a “compatibilist,” who believes that although all human acts are determined by the laws of physics, we can still concoct some version of “free will” that is useful and, indeed, necessary. Sam, like me, sees little merit in that endeavor.)  Sam was both blindsided and hurt, but he did write a response (see my post on the kerfuffle, which has all relevant links).

I was saddened that there was bad blood between two of my friends, but, characteristically, Sam tried to resolve the issue and restore civil discourse by interviewing Dan on free will—in a…

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