more from Daniel Dennett

Single Idea 3796

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 3. Intentional Stance]

Full Idea

Faced with our inability to 'see' where the centre or source of our free actions is,…we exploit the gaps in our self-knowledge by filling it with a mysterious entity, the unmoved mover, the active self.

Gist of Idea

The active self is a fiction created because we are ignorant of our motivations


Daniel Dennett (Elbow Room: varieties of free will [1984], §4.1)

Book Reference

Dennett,Daniel: 'Elbow Room - Free will worth wanting' [MIT 1999], p.79

A Reaction

I am convinced that there is no such things as free will; its origins are to be found in religion, where it is a necessary feature of a very supreme God. I don't believe for a moment that we need to believe in free will.