EDUCATION and QUALIFICATIONS
September 1966-July 1971 Bachelor of Art (Hons.); Printmaking, Sculpture, History and Philosophy of Art, 2nd class; University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
September 1971-July 1972 Bachelor of Education; Art/English, 2nd class; Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada
September 1994-July 1996 Bachelor of Philosophy; Education (Implementing ICT in Key stage 3), pass; dissertation on the development and implementation of ICT in the national curriculum
An idea worth spreading
From Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (1999) we learn that:
“Unlike other animals, humans are able to consciously make choices counter to their [biological] self-interest. Indeed much of what we consider “ethical behaviour” falls in this category.
Such voluntary behaviour counter to all biological self-interest is what qualifies as true heroism, moral heroism of the kind George Eliot [described when she] noted that our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds. Such acts make it awkward for even the most hard-core materialists to completely discount the existence of free will, […].”
In response we could say that rather than discount the existence of free will the ‘hard-core materialists’ should instead recognize that free will is instrumental in determining the level of civility in our societies.
I'm passionate about
The capacity to make moral judgments and to act on them helps us to maintain group harmony. Our ‘fitness’ within the group is enhanced when we make the 'right' moral judgment.
Talk to me about
Freedoms - the evolution of free will in western thought and how it relates to the history of eastern thought. Did the Mesopotamians or early Islamic societies have notions of free will?
People don't know I'm good at
Thinking and observing; questioning and reasoning.
My TED story
Free will is a matter of choice - choice between conscientiousness and self interest. We can choose to do the ‘right thing’ and bring in a lost wallet, including its contents or we can take the money and throw away the wallet. When we become leaders we can listen to our people and institute changes for the good of all or we can advance our own interests and that of our family. We can share our lottery win with family and friends and perhaps give some to a worthy charity or blow it all on a good time. Our exercise of free will in favour of our family or community leaves us feeling good about ourselves. Excessive resort to self interest may lead to us feeling guilty – or most of us, anyway. Guilt, in this instance is a good thing. Guilt is an acknowledgement that we’ve done something wrong. When we are blindly self interested we might also become blind to guilt and our sense of what is morally right.