Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Metaphysics – Reading, Colin Evans


Initially my metaphysical question revolved around the concept of free will vs determinism. The topic was so popular with so many opinions that I didn’t really find it too interesting to go in-depth in; so I tried to stay a bit away from the mainstream side of the question and branched off into something more specific. I was on TEDTalks on my TV and I came across an interesting presentation by Dan Ariely to do with Illusions and whether we control our own decisions or not.

For example he did an experiment with speed dating, proving that in a very short amount of time you’re able to establish whether you find someone physically attractive or not. What I got from this is that the media has shaped our view of so many different things, in a way controlling how we perceive things. This made my topic a lot more confusing, although needed, because I feel as if I was missing a big chunk of the topic.

Dan Ariely poses a very thought provoking question. Are we in control of our decisions? Dan goes though different tests, illusions , and studies to understand how people make decisions. He finds that many decisions are based on how a situation is presented or is viewed and less to do with the person. He questions whether people even have control over their decisions or if the outside circumstances determine what a person will do.  The examples seem to present a convincing argument, So do we really control our decisions? or are we in some way influenced to make certain decisions?

– Leadership Society of Arizona

From my reading I came to the conclusion that we have little control over our decisions in the grand scheme of things. There will always be someone, something or situation that will influence us in some way shape or from.


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