more from Owen Flanagan

Single Idea 5345

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will]

Full Idea

It is unimaginable to me that, despite the feeling that we control what we do, such a strong conception of ourselves as unmoved movers would have been added to our self-image unless we had first conceived of God along these lines.

Gist of Idea

We only think of ourselves as having free will because we first thought of God that way


Owen Flanagan (The Problem of the Soul [2002], p.107)

Book Reference

Flanagan,Owen: 'The Problem of the Soul' [Basic Books 2003], p.107

A Reaction

I think this is right, though there are signs in fifth century Greece of contradictory evidence. The 'unmoved mover' seems unformulated before Plato's 'Laws' (idea 1423), but there is an implied belief in free will a hundred years earlier.

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