Pastoral Counsel for the Anxious Naturalist: Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves
Journal: Metaphilosophy 36.4
Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves is a rhetorically powerful but philosophically unconvincing attempt to show that a deterministic and ontologically reductionist, but epistemologically pluralist, outlook may peacefully coexist with a robust acceptance of human freedom and moral responsibility. The key to understanding the harmony rests in recognizing that freedom is not a metaphysical or physical condition but is instead a product of deeply embedded social practices. I argue that Dennett’s project rests on an unargued and implausible deflationary stance toward basic metaphysics.