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The Nature of Will and the Sophistry of “Free Will”

An eight-part essay on will and ‘free will’.

“I am not a “free” number: I am a WILLFUL MAN!

I

Over the last century, general discourse concerning the topic of ‘free will’ has become increasingly more pronounced in Western culture—a trend that reflects the rapid development of societal complexity during this period: for especially since the postmodern era, the organisational phenomena of bureaucracy, specialisation, and compartmentalisation have intensified the diffusion not only of responsibility but also of knowledge. Concomitantly, scientific theory has supplanted philosophy as the locus of epistemology, producing theoretical phenomena such as relativity and quantum mechanics and instilling them into the foundation of Western ideology. Effectively, such theories have undermined not just traditional knowledge and wisdom but the very basis for their acquisition, i.e. the subjective perception of an objective reality.   In concert, postmodern developments have thus created a culture of disintegrating knowledge and implicit indeterminacy, wherein matters both philosophical and practical are deemed – tacitly more so than explicitly – to be fundamentally uncertain. Crucially, this ideological domination includes the dimension of institutional contradiction; as in, for example, the periodical turnover of scientific axioms, many of which are treated as dogma until they have been deemed falsified and replaced by new axiomatic ‘truths’.
            Within this culture of impenetrable systemisation and philosophical confusion, the question of free will has arisen to prominence: For at least the last half-century, Western culture has been affirming an inherent inability to determine anything at all, let alone an ideology that is clear, consistent, and stable. Adversely, it has instilled a societal paradigm of reactionary measures against the flux of indeterminable existence, which thus represents the postmodern ideology of Western culture—an ideological inversion of Ideology.

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“Leopold!”: Conductor, Orchestra, & Audience

A discussion of the role of the Conductor in both music and society, beginning with my casual impressions (complimented with satirical examples); and followed by critical insights from a socio-musicologist, as well from conductors and composers themselves.

The Conductor (“Leopold!”)

Although I have yet to acquaint myself with orchestral performance, which does interest me; the passive familiarity I have with it has nevertheless left me with a particular impression—specifically, regarding the role of the Conductor, which appears to be strikingly suspect. Upon casual contemplation, I had formed some substantial thoughts about it, from which I felt the subject would be would worthwhile to investigate one day. And due to this question of the Conductor being brought up by someone in a group conversation, that day eventually arrived.

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The Social Significance of Football (Soccer)

This mini-article begins with a brief mention of fooball’s significance, followed by a succession of references to interesting books and media relating to it, and concluded by a list of the relevant links.

Books: The Soccer Tribe; Inverting the Pyramid; I am the Secret Footballer. DVD: History of Football: The Beautiful Game

As football is the most popular sport in the world, it is interesting to consider why this is, as well as what part it plays in society. The sport seems to transcend all languages and cultural boundaries more so than any other; and via the FIFA World Cup, football has helped to bring about a globalized world, in being a kind of sporting lingua franca between nations: it is the sport that has had, and continues to have, the most significance both nationally and internationally.

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