Monday, October 6, 2008

Oct 6 Ridley Ch 21, 22 (Eugenics, Free Will)

As my webpage for the class addresses the topic of our first chapter for today, I will leave only a link: As for the chapter on free will, I find the philosophical discussion in this chapter quite stimulating. Hume’s Fork is particularly interesting in that it fails to recognize any third alternative aside from chaos and determinism. I think Ridley argues that the world in fact functions through a combination of the two. If we reflect back a few chapters on those concerning stress and personality, we will recall that Ridley had suggested a sort of inseparable connection between nature’s genetic ‘determinism’ and nurture’s environmental ‘chaos’ which only worked in conjunction with one another. In the chapter on free will, Ridley seems to just extend this same argument onto a broader spectrum, but I think it still applies. I would even suggest that he adequately addresses infusing a religious appeal with this concept of entwined chaos and determinism, nature and nurture, genes and environment. At this point I deem Ridley’s point well argued and have little to counter against it.

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