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Free Will vs. Science?

More and more, we’re told that if we want to be logical, scientific and fact-based, we’ll discard the old-fashioned notion of free will. Only religionists and other people who cling to supernatural, magical ideas like Descartes’ “ghost in the machine” still believe our minds are free.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism rejects this as a false alternative. The alternatives are not science and determinism—or supernaturalism and free will. Properly understood, free will is a fact of human nature, a natural power possessed by the human form of consciousness and which underlies logical thinking. In this lecture I sketch that new alternative: Objectivism’s natural, scientific account of free will.

Onkar Ghate

Onkar Ghate, Ph.D. in philosophy, is a senior fellow and chief content officer at the Ayn Rand Institute. A contributing author to many books on Rand’s ideas and philosophy, he is a senior editor of New Ideal.

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