FT 010-J Doing Without Thinking: The Powerful Unconscious and What it Means for Free Will
Professor Robert Horton, Department of Psychology, 9:45 TTh
How much of what you do is a result of your CHOICES? A belief in free will (people’s freedom to choose and the power of those choices) is common and may even be an important foundation for societal development. On the other hand, scholars have long been fascinated by the possibility of an “unconscious” (i.e., some part of our understanding or knowledge that exists even though we don’t know it exists) that influences our behavior. If such an unconscious exists, does that mean that we are not as free as we thought? Is our behavior controlled by forces of which we are not aware? In this course we will explore what contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and other scholars say about the unconscious and its implications for the idea of free will. As we do so, we will consider written (e.g., Books such as Blink by Malcolm Gladwell) and audiovisual (e.g., contemporary TV shows, like Lie To Me) sources and will work to reconcile the contemporary view of the unconscious with our personal sense of choice and freedom.