Dragaera and Shakespeare [Spoiler for POTD]

Chris Olson - SunPS Chrisf.Olson at Sun.COM
Thu Feb 20 16:21:41 PST 2003

> As it happens, I don't believe in free will, either (more precisely, I've 
> never heard a definition that is simultaneously coherant and non-trivial 
> [1]).  Be that as it may, even if we discount free will, this says nothing 
> as to whether a given persons actions ultimately stem from their inherant 
> nature or from their interactions with their environment (e.g., the failure 
> to uphold a sworn honor).

Foregoing the topic of free will at this time (but wouldn't it
be a fun one?) I have to say that I don't believe it's an either/or
question.  There are, certainly, situations where a person's actions
are dictated by their inherant nature, and situations where they are
dictated by their environment, but I think, for the most part, that
they are made by both.  One's inherant nature and the environment in
which they find themselves in can and do dictate their actions.

In the world of Dragaera, a house greatly influences a person's inherant
nature, but I think their decisions are made both on this and on the
environment they find themselves in.  I really don't think it's either/or.

> But how much of that complexity and contradiction is generated by the very 
> fact that Dragaerans aren't just stamped out, cookie-cutter, by their House 
> natures but that they are, indeed, individuals with individual temperments 
> who are *influenced* but not necessarily determined (in the strict sense of 
> the word) by their Houses?

Ah.  Perhaps you were making a similar argument, and I missed it. :)

> [1] Dennett has given it a damned good go in _Elbow Room_ but, in spite of 
> his insistence, I don't think that what he's calling "free will" are groping 
> at when they use the term.  He does do an excellent job, however, of 
> demonstrating why the fears that people have with regards to a loss of 
> freedom aren't warranted.  I understand he has a new book that expands on 
> the theme.  I'm looking forward to reading it.

Dag-burnit!  It's too late in the day for me to go off on a free-will
discussion!  Ah, well.  If it's picked up, I'll join it tomorrow.... <grin>

Chris (Who'd enjoy a free-will debate right about now...)

"So farewell hope, and with hope, farewell fear,
 Farewell remorse!  All good to me is lost;
 Evil, be thou my Good"
	- John Milton - 'Paradise Lost'