* Sold out* Living Room Salon | Our Struggle with Free Will

Jeanne Proust at Living Room

Tue, Jan 22 at 7:30 p.m.   |   90 minutes

What happens when we choose, when we decide something over something else? And even if we say that we are indeed free to decide what we want, is this freedom such a great thing to have ?

I want to raise my hand now. If I am able, physically, and allowed, socially, then I would say I am free to do it, to do what I want. But is it that simple ?

Like Descartes in his living room, we will try, in a comfortable setting profitable for philosophical meditations, to think together about what it means to feel free to do what we want. Free will is a vivid internal feeling, as the same Descartes had put it. But we are bodies within a physical world ruled by the laws of nature. Therefore, we should be, as any other part of that world, submitted to deterministic chains of causes and effects. Can then the autonomy of the human will really exist in this world? What happens when we choose, when we decide something over something else?

And even if we say that we are indeed free to decide what we want, is this freedom such a great thing to have ?

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

Jeanne Proust's research focuses on Théodule Ribot’s Diseases of the Will, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives. While teaching at different universities here in New York, Jeanne is advocating for a widening of philosophical education beyond the academic frontiers.


Venue: Living Room

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Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.