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Why should movies get the science right?

Why should movies get the science right? I have long heard that some/many sci-fi movies get the science wrong and I just sit there thinking -"well what's wrong with that?". I've managed construct a few bad reasons as to why they should get it right, but most of these are somewhere along the lines of: 'it might mislead people'. Your help will be much appreciated.

I don't think there's any general injunction about getting the science right, but sometimes getting it wrong can be a distraction. One example that's been discussed by various critics comes from Lord of the Flies. Piggy's glasses are used to focus sunlight and start a fire. But Piggy is nearsighted; his lenses would be concave rather than convex and couldn't be used to start a fire. (Thanks to John Holliday for this example, which he discusses in his dissertation.) Many readers won't realize the problem, but the glasses and Piggy's nearsightedness aren't just an incidental plot element. This is the sort of detail that Golding could have gotten right and once you know that it's wrong, you may never be able to read those scenes in the same way.

Needless to say, this doesn't show that getting the science right always matters. It surely doesn't. It's also plausible that these things will be matters of degree. The more esoteric the bit of science, and the less central to the story, the less it's likely to matter whether the author gets it right. Also, if we couldn't reasonably expect the author to get it right (say, because the relevant bits of science weren't known when the story was written), we will be more forgiving, though even we may need to make an effort not to let ourselves be jarred by the inaccuracy.

We could add that it's not just science that matters. I remember as a boy reading a Hardy Boys story in which part of the action took place in eastern Canada, in "St. John's, New Brunswick." This annoyed me and distracted me; there is no St. John's, New Brunswick. There is a St. John's, Newfoundland. There is a Saint John New Brunswick (and yes, the spelling matters.) The author could easily have gotten this detail right with a minimum of research. The story, of course, is a fiction. But like most stories, it's a fiction intended to bear a certain relationship to the real world. Imagine, for instance, an author who set a scene in Faneuil Hall in Boston, Connecticut. I'd need a pretty good reason to forgive the author for that oversight. I'd also need a pretty good reason to forgive an author who wrote a story with a physics professor character who said that electrons are bosons.

So even though fictions are, well, fictional, getting the facts right can make an aesthetic difference, and scientific facts can be among the ones that matter.

I don't think there's any general injunction about getting the science right, but sometimes getting it wrong can be a distraction. One example that's been discussed by various critics comes from Lord of the Flies . Piggy's glasses are used to focus sunlight and start a fire. But Piggy is nearsighted; his lenses would be concave rather than convex and couldn't be used to start a fire. (Thanks to John Holliday for this example, which he discusses in his dissertation.) Many readers won't realize the problem, but the glasses and Piggy's nearsightedness aren't just an incidental plot element. This is the sort of detail that Golding could have gotten right and once you know that it's wrong, you may never be able to read those scenes in the same way. Needless to say, this doesn't show that getting the science right always matters. It surely doesn't. It's also plausible that these things will be matters of degree. The more esoteric the bit of science, and the less central to the story, the less it's likely to...

Is not the very concept of religion toxic to humanity? Never before has any

Is not the very concept of religion toxic to humanity? Never before has any species encountered a larger source of hate, bigotry and ultimate and utter lack of ethical direction. Surely such notions of fairies in the clouds ought not be taken seriously in a current day society, especially when such deluded notions can be used to promote acts such as crusades, act against contraception and promote the sexual abuse of children.

I have a feeling you aren't asking if the concept of religion is toxic; you're asking if religion is toxic. But I was a bit puzzled by this:

"Never before has any species encountered a larger source of hate, bigotry and ultimate and utter lack of ethical direction."

After all, bigotry and ethical direction or the lack thereof don't apply to any non-human species that I know of.

But let that pass. I gather you're not a fan of religion. The issue, however, seems to be whether religion is worse than, say, nationalism, tribalism, racism, sexism, homophobia, warped ideology, and general human bloody-mindedness. I suppose that's an empirical question, and God knows that there's a lot of evil that's been done in the name of all these things. But it's at least a somewhat mixed bag, isn't it? For it's a matter of plain fact, that very good things have been done in the name of religion, along with the very bad, and some of the noblest ideals I can think of have deep religious roots. (Buddhist notions of compassion, for instance—or the Christian concept of agape.)

The horrors of Nazism, Stalinism and Mao's cultural revolution weren't committed in the name of any deity, though their vileness arguably surpasses anything that was. There's a lot of evil in the world, and it's perpetrated by the "godly" and the ungodly alike.

This isn't meant to absolve religion of responsibility for the many wrongs it has caused. Furthermore, religion as it's often practiced has its own original sin: believers are often encouraged to believe things with enormous moral consequences, even though there's acres of room for sane people to believe otherwise. But (say I) there's no inherent reason why religious impulses have to be accompanied by dogmatic belief in claims that are both optional and unknowable, let alone execrable. After all, if there's a being worthy of the name "God," that being has to pass the test of moral perfection. This has a consequence: it means that religious ideas that don't stand up to moral scrutiny should be rejected by the believer on the grounds that no God would endorse them. Following supposed "commandments" blindly without asking whether a truly divine being could have issued them is a form of idolatry—the worst kind, in fact. But notice that this means bad religion, unlike a good many bad ideas, contains its own potential cure.

I have a feeling you aren't asking if the concept of religion is toxic; you're asking if religion is toxic. But I was a bit puzzled by this: "Never before has any species encountered a larger source of hate, bigotry and ultimate and utter lack of ethical direction." After all, bigotry and ethical direction or the lack thereof don't apply to any non-human species that I know of. But let that pass. I gather you're not a fan of religion. The issue, however, seems to be whether religion is worse than, say, nationalism, tribalism, racism, sexism, homophobia, warped ideology, and general human bloody-mindedness. I suppose that's an empirical question, and God knows that there's a lot of evil that's been done in the name of all these things. But it's at least a somewhat mixed bag, isn't it? For it's a matter of plain fact, that very good things have been done in the name of religion, along with the very bad, and some of the noblest ideals I can think of have deep religious roots. (Buddhist notions...

Can a painting be *false* by not depicting reality? Suppose that some painter

Can a painting be *false* by not depicting reality? Suppose that some painter paints something that really happened, but adds or subtracts details that do not correspond to reality. Or suppose that the painter not only does that, but adds a title that makes it cleat that the painting to the real event. Or think about "photoshopped" photos. The reason why I am asking this is that I often read on the internet that (only?) sentences and "propositions" can be true or false, and a painting is not a sentence nor a proposition.

A nice question.

Suppose a painter paints a scene with a person in it. Apart from very special circumstances, we wouldn't take this to be a matter of the painter telling us that the event really happened and the person depicted was really there. It might be that a real person is depicted who really was in the place pictured. But that's not how paintings are ordinarily intended, and it's not how they're ordinarily understood. Calling the painting false because what it asks us to imagine never really happened would be a bit like saying that the Sherlock Holmes stories are false because there was never any such person as Sherlock Holmes.

Of course, a painter could use a painting as a way of conveying information intended to be factual. I take that to be the point of your example. And in many cases, some aspects of paintings are intended in just that way. Suppose a portrait depicts a blue-eyed person as having brown eyes. Depending on the larger story, this might be a genuine inaccuracy in the painting. We could certainly say things like "the painting gets it wrong," and no one would be confused.

The case of the doctored photo is a good one. Pictures are often used as a way of conveying information, and they can be used deceptively. I can lie by using a picture. That means I can use a picture as a way of asserting a proposition that I know is false.

So why not say that in such cases, the painting is false? We could, I suppose, and there could even be a set of conventions governing the use of the words "true" and "false" when applied to paintings. That said, it's not hard to see some reasons why we don't do that. Close enough for present purposes, the content of a proposition is definite. And in typical cases, which proposition a sentence is used to assert is unambiguous. "Schenectady is in New York" is a good example. There's very little ambiguity, if any, about what proposition someone is asserting when they use this sentence, and so the question of whether the sentence is true or false has a clear answer. The semantics of sentences like this is reasonably clear and the way in which they can be combined with other sentences to produce yet other sentences more complex truth-conditions is clear. That's not so for pictures. We can use sentences to assert disjunctions ("or" statements), negations, conditionals, etc. What sort of picture would say that Mary has one or two children? Or that if Mary gets to work late, she will be fired? We can dream up ways of doing this, no doubt, but we'll mostly do it ad hoc.

Or for that matter: which features of pictures would we take to be part of what's asserted? Again, in particular cases we could have ad hoc rules that settled the question. But when pictures are used to make assertions, it will be a matter of some features of the picture being used in this way, even though other features that equally well could have been used to make assertions aren't.

To tie all this up, one important difference between pictures and sentences is that sentences usually have a reasonably clear syntax and a reasonably well-settled semantics. (I don't mean that the theory of syntax and semantics is well-settled; I mean that in practice we can generally agree on the structure of actual sentences, and we can generally agree on what they do and don't mean.) This allows us to talk about truth and falsity in a precise and structured way. Pictures often have rich representational content, but it's a considerable stretch to say that there's a full-blown syntax and semantics for pictures. This doesn't mean that we can never apply terms like "false" to a picture, but pictures are very different from the sorts of things to which we paradigmatically apply words like "true" and "false."

A nice question. Suppose a painter paints a scene with a person in it. Apart from very special circumstances, we wouldn't take this to be a matter of the painter telling us that the event really happened and the person depicted was really there. It might be that a real person is depicted who really was in the place pictured. But that's not how paintings are ordinarily intended, and it's not how they're ordinarily understood. Calling the painting false because what it asks us to imagine never really happened would be a bit like saying that the Sherlock Holmes stories are false because there was never any such person as Sherlock Holmes. Of course, a painter could use a painting as a way of conveying information intended to be factual. I take that to be the point of your example. And in many cases, some aspects of paintings are intended in just that way. Suppose a portrait depicts a blue-eyed person as having brown eyes. Depending on the larger story, this might be a genuine inaccuracy in the...

Hello,

Hello, My question is: what makes a swear-word/curse/cuss offensive? I submitted to a friend that in order for a word to be offensive three criteria have to be filled. 1) The speaker must utter the word with the intention to offend. 2) The speaker and hearer must both be aware of the background context of the word as an offensive word. 3) The hearer must hear the word and react; taking offence The justification for this is that a word is just a sound and that many languages use sounds that in another language are curses. It is irrational to take offence to a sound if the speaker is ignorant of it's vulgar connotations. Without a shared contextual understanding of a word's history as offensive, a speaker seeking to offend through uttering a word (without using other signs of contempt or emphasis) is just making a sound to the hearer which has no offensive connotations to them. The hearer upon hearing the word reacts, consciously or unconsciously actively taking offence. A person intending to offend...

I'd suggest that we need to keep three things separate: 1) whether the word is offensive, 2) whether offense was intended, and 3) whether the hearer was offended. All eight possibilities are real. To take the most relevant, a word might be offensive, and yet the person using it might not have intended to offend and the hearer might not be offended.

For example: suppose someone who's not a native speaker uses a deeply racist term to refer to someone. The speaker is not at all a racist and would be deeply mortified if she knew how the word is normally used. She intended no offense. But that's because she didn't know that the word is an offensive word.

The person she was speaking to, meanwhile, is a racist. The speaker doesn't know that; she's just met him. He's not offended, but only because of is racism. On the contrary: he thinks he's met a kindred spirit.

There's no mystery here. The word is offensive because of its history, its usual meaning, and the way people typically respond to it. None of that changes if the speaker is unaware of this or the hearer, for whatever reason, doesn't have the usual reaction.

You're right, of course, that if I come to learn that a speaker didn't realize the full connotations of his words, it might be unreasonable to hold on to my offense. But if I tell the speaker "You might want to know: that word is actually a very offensive one," I could be right even if in light of the full situation I'm not offended.

I'd suggest that we need to keep three things separate: 1) whether the word is offensive, 2) whether offense was intended, and 3) whether the hearer was offended. All eight possibilities are real. To take the most relevant, a word might be offensive, and yet the person using it might not have intended to offend and the hearer might not be offended. For example: suppose someone who's not a native speaker uses a deeply racist term to refer to someone. The speaker is not at all a racist and would be deeply mortified if she knew how the word is normally used. She intended no offense. But that's because she didn't know that the word is an offensive word. The person she was speaking to, meanwhile, is a racist. The speaker doesn't know that; she's just met him. He's not offended, but only because of is racism. On the contrary: he thinks he's met a kindred spirit. There's no mystery here. The word is offensive because of its history, its usual meaning, and the way people typically respond to it. ...

Is horny an emotion or a feeling

Is horny an emotion or a feeling

Depends on what you mean, doesn't it? But even after we sort that out, the answer may still be that it depends.

A headache is a feeling but not an emotion—at least, not as most people use the word. Anxiety, at least a good deal of the time, is also a feeling rather than an emotion, but it can go either way. A free-floating, undirected anxiety is a feeling. But it doesn't seem too strange to say that anxiety about something specific counts as an emotion.

So maybe we could say that emotions are feelings with objects. At the end of the day, that won't do. Still, it gets at something. We tend to save the word "emotion" for states that are about something, or have some sort of content other than just raw feels. But that's pretty clearly not enough. That slice of apple-rhubarb pie in front of me may fill me with a very focussed feeling of hunger. But that feeling doesn't count as an emotion. What's missing?

The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is reason. Emotions can be justified and they can respond to reasons. If I'm outraged at someone and someone explains the situation to me, the change in my beliefs may well make my outrage evaporate. Sexual arousal seems different. Suppose there's someone whose voice I just find arousing. Reasons and justifications don't have anything to do with it. Hearing those flowing tone and those liquid vowels just does it for me. My feeling has an object, but it still doesn't seem to be an emotion.

So on balance, the best answer may be "feeling" rather than "emotion." But if you want to think more about it, you might look at this piece on emotions in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emotion/

Depends on what you mean, doesn't it? But even after we sort that out, the answer may still be that it depends. A headache is a feeling but not an emotion—at least, not as most people use the word. Anxiety, at least a good deal of the time, is also a feeling rather than an emotion, but it can go either way. A free-floating, undirected anxiety is a feeling. But it doesn't seem too strange to say that anxiety about something specific counts as an emotion. So maybe we could say that emotions are feelings with objects. At the end of the day, that won't do. Still, it gets at something. We tend to save the word "emotion" for states that are about something, or have some sort of content other than just raw feels. But that's pretty clearly not enough. That slice of apple-rhubarb pie in front of me may fill me with a very focussed feeling of hunger. But that feeling doesn't count as an emotion. What's missing? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is reason. Emotions can be justified and they can respond...

I recently read that the majority of philosophers are moral realists. I either

I recently read that the majority of philosophers are moral realists. I either do not understand moral realism or, if I do understand it, I don't buy it. Below I describe how I view the ideas of 'right' and 'wrong.' Is my understanding incompatible with moral realism? And how would you critique my understanding? Also if you want to give a version of moral realism that is easy to understand that would be greatly appreciated. Let’s say that I find test taking difficult. I declare: test taking is difficult. This statement is relational in nature. I am saying that because of various elements of my personal makeup the action of taking a test is difficult for me. It would be incorrect of me to say that test taking was objectively difficult. Some, as a result of various differing elements of their personal makeup, may find test taking easy. It is hypothetically possible to enumerate all of the events in my life as a child and the specific neuroanatomical structures that cause test taking to be difficult for me...

Let's start with "test taking is difficult." There's a difference between "test taking is difficult for me" and "test taking is difficult." If what I mean is just that I personally find test taking difficult, then simply saying "test taking is difficult" is a recipe for being misunderstood.

Now of course if I say something is hard, I'm usually not saying it's hard for literally everyone. I mean, roughly, that it's hard for most people. That's fine, but it can be true—whether or not the task is hard for me personally.

This gives us our first point: if a statement doesn't seem just to be about the speaker, then don't read it that way unless there's a good reason to.

Now let's turn to moral statements. When people say that punching a child in the face is wrong, they don't just mean something about themselves. In fact, most people, including most philosophers, would reject that reading out of hand. If I say "it's wrong to punch a child in the face" and you say "what you really mean is that you have negative feelings about punching kids," I'd say no; that's not what I mean. I mean that it's wrong, and it would still be wrong even if I happened to enjoy it.

Now maybe there's no real difference between right and wrong. But at this stage, we're talking about what statements mean. Roughly, that's a matter of what people who use the statements us them to mean. And I think we're on safe ground in saying that when most people say something is wrong, they don't just mean that they don't like it.

You might say that there's nothing else meaningful that they could mean. But the argument you give doesn't show this. Your argument is that there's a causal story that accounts for my saying that it's wrong to punch a child—some story about my upbringing and my influences and my neurons or whatnot. The problem is that even granting this, it doesn't show what you need to show. Compare: I say that 537 times 24 is 12,888. There's certainly a story about my upbringing, education, and the workings of my brain that explains why I say this. But the statement that 537 times 24 equals 12,888 isn't a statement about me, and in fact it's a true statement. My upbringing and the workings of my brain made me into the kind of person who's a reasonably reliable source of information about basic arithmetic.

This brings us to our second point: just because there's a causal story explaining why someone says, that doesn't make their statement subjective, and doesn't give us any reason to think it's not true. On the contrary, the causal story might help us understand why the person is reliable about this sort of thing.

Finally, back to moral claims. When people say that punching children is wrong, they don't just mean that they have a certain feeling about punching kids. If Mary says punching kids is wrong, there's certainly some complicated story about Mary's upbringing, influences, and brain that explains why she says this. But for any statement there's always some such story, and that doesn't usually give us a reason to doubt that what the person says is correct. (It could, of course; maybe the person is on drugs. But the fact that some causal stories give us reasons to doubt what someone says doesn't mean that all of them do.) Mary might be (is, I'd say!) right about punching kids. And because of her empathy, sensitivity, intelligence and wide experience, Mary might even be an unusually reliable source of moral advice.

This isn't to say that there aren't any reasons to doubt moral realism. But those reasons will have to be quite different from the ones you've proposed.

Let's start with "test taking is difficult." There's a difference between "test taking is difficult for me" and "test taking is difficult." If what I mean is just that I personally find test taking difficult, then simply saying "test taking is difficult" is a recipe for being misunderstood. Now of course if I say something is hard, I'm usually not saying it's hard for literally everyone. I mean, roughly, that it's hard for most people. That's fine, but it can be true —whether or not the task is hard for me personally. This gives us our first point: if a statement doesn't seem just to be about the speaker, then don't read it that way unless there's a good reason to. Now let's turn to moral statements. When people say that punching a child in the face is wrong, they don't just mean something about themselves. In fact, most people, including most philosophers, would reject that reading out of hand. If I say "it's wrong to punch a child in the face" and you say "what you really mean is that you have...

What insight can babies in scientific experiments provide philosophy? If we

What insight can babies in scientific experiments provide philosophy? If we really are born with blank slates, how does that explain why many babies will choose to look and gesture at the side by side photo of the model instead of the photo of the grandma? I really think philosophy will answer this alone instead of neuroscience.

I don't have a clear fix on the question, but insofar as I do, I don't see how philosophy alone could answer it. You seem to be saying that there's a real-world, repeatable phenomenon: babies in certain situations behave this way rather than that. That may be true—is true, far as I know. But if it's true, there's nothing a priori about it; the opposite behavior is perfectly conceivable and might have been true for all we could have said in advance. I don't see how philosophical analysis could tell us why things turned out one way rather than another. At least as I and many of my colleagues understand philosophy, it doesn't have any special access to contingent facts. A philosopher might come up with a hypothesis, but insofar as the hypothesis is about an empirical matter, it will call for the usual sort of empirical investigation that empirical claims call for.

As for blank slates, philosophy can't tell us by itself whether we're born with blank slates as minds, but as a matter of fact, there seems to be reason to think we aren't. The mind seems to come pre-wired in certain ways. Understanding what that amounts to calls for doing some science, whether it be cognitive science or neuroscience or whatever. Philosophers may have contributions to make to clarifying relevant notions and questions, sorting out methodological issues and the like, but what they can't do is sit in their studies and settle the answers by themselves.

I don't have a clear fix on the question, but insofar as I do, I don't see how philosophy alone could answer it. You seem to be saying that there's a real-world, repeatable phenomenon: babies in certain situations behave this way rather than that . That may be true—is true, far as I know. But if it's true, there's nothing a priori about it; the opposite behavior is perfectly conceivable and might have been true for all we could have said in advance. I don't see how philosophical analysis could tell us why things turned out one way rather than another. At least as I and many of my colleagues understand philosophy, it doesn't have any special access to contingent facts. A philosopher might come up with a hypothesis, but insofar as the hypothesis is about an empirical matter, it will call for the usual sort of empirical investigation that empirical claims call for. As for blank slates, philosophy can't tell us by itself whether we're born with blank slates as minds, but as a matter of fact, there...

Do philosophers ever assume anything in books or journals (not including thought

Do philosophers ever assume anything in books or journals (not including thought experiments) and wouldn't that be completely contrary to the intent of philosophy?

If by "assume," you mean "accept without argument," then the answer is yes to the first part of your question and no to the second.

Yes: philosophers assume all sorts of things. They usually assume that there is a world out there and that there are people who at least potentially can read and respond to their arguments. They very often take for granted all sorts of facts, scientific and garden-variety: that there are trees; that people sometimes do things deliberately; that water is made of H2O; that the 4-color conjecture has been successfully proven.

No: this isn't contrary to the intent of philosophy. Except on very eccentric views, philosophy is not the enterprise of doubting everything that can be doubted and accepting only what can be proved from indubitable premises. That may have been Descartes' project, but it's been almost no one else's. In fact, most philosophers would say that this project is deeply flawed.

Philosophy, like the Odyssey begins in the middle of things. Want to think about free will? Start by assuming that there are beings who have intentions and sometimes behave accordingly. Want to think about linguistic meaning? Start by assuming that there are languages and people who use them to communicate. Want to think about cause and effect? Start by assuming that things happen (there are "events," on one way or putting it) and that sometimes what happens fits certain sorts of patterns. And so on.

But in any case, there's no one thing that is the "intent" of philosophy. True: philosophy is relatively non-empirical; we don't generally do experiments to settle philosophical questions. It's hard to see how experiments would tell us what it amounts to for one thing to cause another, for example. But sometimes empirical findings are relevant to philosophical thinking. For example: what experimental psychology tells us about how we actually make decisions might very well be relevant to how we should think about free will.

Who decides what gets doubted and what gets taken for granted? The philosopher, and she does it depending on the questions she wants to explore and the state of the broader discussion of those questions. All of this may seem distressingly impure to outsiders, but philosophers would say that it makes it possible to have productive discussions that someone might have a reason to care about.

If by "assume," you mean "accept without argument," then the answer is yes to the first part of your question and no to the second. Yes: philosophers assume all sorts of things. They usually assume that there is a world out there and that there are people who at least potentially can read and respond to their arguments. They very often take for granted all sorts of facts, scientific and garden-variety: that there are trees; that people sometimes do things deliberately; that water is made of H2O; that the 4-color conjecture has been successfully proven. No: this isn't contrary to the intent of philosophy. Except on very eccentric views, philosophy is not the enterprise of doubting everything that can be doubted and accepting only what can be proved from indubitable premises. That may have been Descartes' project, but it's been almost no one else's. In fact, most philosophers would say that this project is deeply flawed. Philosophy, like the Odyssey begins in the middle of things. Want to think...

Can every philosophical word or term listed in peer-reviewed philosophy

Can every philosophical word or term listed in peer-reviewed philosophy dictionaries be explained with a real-life example? If not, how can we know that it's not just BS?

A not-really-relevant aside: most philosophers don't own philosophical dictionaries, but let that pass.

Here's a non-philosophical word: unicorn. It's easy to explain what it means, but there aren't any real-life examples. Whether a term can be clearly explained and whether there are actual examples are quite different questions.

If it's controversial whether something exists then a philosopher shouldn't pretend otherwise, but the question of whether something exists (God, for instance) might be an interesting one. And sometimes the best way to understand a notion is a philosophical question. The notion of free will is like that. In that case, there's no one meaning for the term, but it's possible to have a perfectly reasonable discussion of what might count as free will and why some answers might be better than others. In fact that sort of discussion comes up in many disciplines. Philosophers are unusual in that they're trained to notice this kind of unclarity and to reason about it carefully.

A not-really-relevant aside: most philosophers don't own philosophical dictionaries, but let that pass. Here's a non-philosophical word: unicorn. It's easy to explain what it means, but there aren't any real-life examples. Whether a term can be clearly explained and whether there are actual examples are quite different questions. If it's controversial whether something exists then a philosopher shouldn't pretend otherwise, but the question of whether something exists (God, for instance) might be an interesting one. And sometimes the best way to understand a notion is a philosophical question. The notion of free will is like that. In that case, there's no one meaning for the term, but it's possible to have a perfectly reasonable discussion of what might count as free will and why some answers might be better than others. In fact that sort of discussion comes up in many disciplines. Philosophers are unusual in that they're trained to notice this kind of unclarity and to reason about it carefully.

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