Monday, June 12, 2017
Week one comment 3 June 12, 2017 - Don
Week one comment 3 June 12, 2017
Do you believe in predeterminism? William James delivered a lecture before the Harvard Natural History Society, entitled “Great Men and their Environment.” In it he relates a story about a friend who slips and falls on some ice when he steps out of his house and fractures his skull. The friend had dined with him several months before. Was the dinner a part of sequence of events that led to the slip? “I might, if I chose, contend with perfect logical propriety that the slip on the ice was no real accident. ‘There are no accidents,’ I might say, ‘for science. The whole history of the world converged to produce that slip. If anything had been left out, the slip would not have occurred just there and then. To say it would is to deny the relations of cause and effect throughout the universe.”
James uses this example to discuss the parallels between Spencer’s “social evolution,” and Darwin’s “zoological evolution.” Do you believe that there is a reason for everything and that all events in the past converge on the present? Last night the Predators lost game 6 in the Stanley Cup finals. The winning goal was scored by a player who was drafted last year by the Predators, but then released. If the Predators had kept him, they might have finished the third period scoreless and the game would have gone into overtime? Where the Predators predetermined to lose?