Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Even the Smallest of Choices Counts (H1G1 Sartre)

This is an altogether too familiar scenario. One that almost all of us have encountered and have responded to. For some of us we hit the snooze button on our alarms or, for those stranger creatures, the dismiss button. Either way we are faced with a choice. Wake up, snooze, or sleep the day away? According to Jean-Paul Sartre that is where our free will comes in to play: through the choices we make. In my group we discussed this idea of Sartre's. Do the choices we make really represent our free will or are the results of those choices already mapped out?

Sartre argued that our free will comes in the form of these choices we make. Yet, isn't it possible that all of our decisions are predestined? Or maybe the "choices" we are making are fueled by "chains." For instance, when I hit my alarm clock before work I am choosing to wake up, yes. However, do I really have the free will to decide not to go to work considering the repercussions?

Jean-Paul Sartre

In the end our group, essentially, came to the conclusion that the idea of free will is up to the individual. Is it possible that free will doesn't exist? Or that it does? Or, maybe, is there a fusion of both? Every person seems to believe differently. Maybe that's where our free will comes in, not through our choices but beliefs. 
It's up to you.


  1. Such a waste of time, Phil!

  2. Interesting that free will remains such a prominent topic in philosophy. It's cool to relate various philosophers' ideas on it. I did like how Sartre didn't waste any time mind-debating over whether free will existed or not, and just jumped right into the applications of his opinion. How pragmatist of him. It is also interesting that Sartre is one of the original hipsters.

    FQ: T/F Sartre was a Nazi.
    Just kidding, T/F Sartre believed that by engaging in any activity, you were establishing your own opinion on how humans should act.

    DQ: Do you think it's better to worry about whether free will exists or not, or establish your own opinion initially and then figure out what to do with it?

    Link: http://youtu.be/A2F9Wk3WtUU
    -Sartre being anti-establishment

  3. Free will does seem to be very controversial. I personally believe we do have free will and that we have control of our own decisions.

    DQ: If we don't have freewill, how do we have the idea of it in our minds?

  4. I honestly believe free will is definitely still up in the air. Sure, we can choose to punch the alarm clock in to the next room and get up so we aren't late to work, but i fell like we would have done it anyway. I don't want to get fired, do you? also I'm putting a link on this comment to an article i read about how we're scientifically trying to prove that free will doesn't exist.