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Determined: The Science of Life Without Free Will (Paperback)
  • Determined: The Science of Life Without Free Will (Paperback)
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Determined: The Science of Life Without Free Will (Paperback)

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Paperback 528 Pages
Published: 18/04/2024
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Waterstones Says

Making a persuasive and meticulously researched case for the absence of free will in human biology, the author of Behave delivers a provocative volume that is disturbing and liberating in equal measure.

One of the world’s greatest scientists of human behaviour, the bestselling author of Behave, shows that free will does not exist - and sets out the disturbing yet liberating implications of accepting this fact.

What if free will is an illusion? As Robert Sapolsky shows in this masterful account of the science of human behaviour, everything we think and do is caused by the luck of our biology and the influence of our environment, and ultimately both are beyond our control. In a world without free will, we must completely rethink what we mean by choice, responsibility, morality and justice. Sapolsky’s extraordinary book does exactly this, guiding us toward a profoundly fairer, more humane way of living together.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781529920062
Number of pages: 528
Weight: 361 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A bravura performance, well worth reading for the pleasure of Sapolsky’s deeply informed company … he makes a moving case that [our lack of freedom is] a reason to live with profound forgiveness and understanding … absorbing and compassionate - Oliver Burkeman, Observer

Excellent . . . Outstanding for its breadth of research, the liveliness of the writing, and the depth of humanity it conveys - Wall Street Journal

[A] highly entertaining account of why … we should and must overcome the infuriating conspiracy of mind that insists we are the authors of our actions. Anyone who believes otherwise needs to read it - Philip Ball, Times Literary Supplement

Wonderfully readable ... humorous and warm and humane - Justin Webb, Today (BBC Radio 4)

[A] witty, erudite, imaginative and deeply humane new book… [The] case that Sapolsky makes for a transition from a criminal-justice system based on blame and retribution…to one founded on blame-free rehabilitation is moving and compelling - Literary Review

Robert Sapolsky explains why the latest developments in neuroscience and psychology explode our conventional idea of Free Will. The book's chock-full of complex and often counter-intuitive ideas. It's also a joy to read. That's because Sapolsky is not only one of the world's most brilliant scientists, but also an immensely gifted writer who tells this important story with wit and compassion. It's impossible to recommend this book too highly. Reading it could change your life - Laurence Rees

In his usual frank and amusing style, Robert Sapolsky argues that free will is an illusion. His stance is both hard to accept and hard to deny. An utterly fascinating topic with mind-boggling implications for human morality - Frans de Waal, author of Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist

Witty and engaging, Determined is also a goldmine of fascinating information (most of it accessible even to those of us who aren’t scientifically literate) about neuroscience; philosophy; chaos theory; emergent complexity; quantum indeterminacy; evolving knowledge of the causes of epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism; and, of course, the impact of nature and nurture on decision-making - Psychology Today

Sapolsky’s decades of experience studying the effects of the interplay of genes and the environment on behavior shine brightly . . . He provides compelling examples that bad luck compounds . . . convincingly argues against claims that chaos theory, emergent phenomena, or the indeterminism offered by quantum mechanics provide the gap required for free will to exist - Science

Fascinating, provocative and profound. This book tackles all sorts of big issues: how the human brain works, what makes us different, and what underlies everything we do. If Sapolsky is right, we might need to rethink justice and law, and for each of us personally, what it really takes to be happy and successful - Daniel M. Davis, author of The Secret Body

Provocative … If Sapolsky’s ideas were widely accepted they would lead to profound societal changes, not least within the criminal justice system - Sunday Times

Fascinating and challenging - though I'm not sure if I really had a say in the matter - New Scientist

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