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As Wide as the World Is WiseReinventing Philosophical Anthropology$
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Michael Jackson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178280

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178280.001.0001

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Fate and Freewill

Fate and Freewill

Chapter:
(p.167) 9. Fate and Freewill
Source:
As Wide as the World Is Wise
Author(s):

Michael Jackson

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231178280.003.0010

Chapter nine is a critique of the notion of agency. Rather than make a philosophical case for either agency or patiency, I consider two modes of thinking – the first that emphasizes an active, disciplined, focused application of thought to being, the second that emphasizes a more passive, attentive, open-minded approach in which the thinker simply registers or channels thoughts that appear to come from elsewhere. In critiquing any kind of ontologizing of cultural representations of self and other, and sweeping generalizations concerning intrinsic cognitive or epistemological differences between primitive irrationality and modern rationality “them” and “us”, I focus not on fixed mindsets or mentalities but on the existential conditions under which thinking is experienced either as a process that is undertaken consciously and intentionally or as a process that simply happens to people without their choosing.

Keywords:   Philosophy, Anthropology, Philosophical anthropology, subjectivity

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