Outside view of McKelvy HouseThe McKelvy Scholars will host a discussion led by Olivia Barney ’21 and Aidy Ung ’21 on Sunday at 6 p.m. Email the group for the Zoom link. Background for the talk:

Let’s discuss human decision-making as it pertains to individual and collective influences.  We want to explore the reasons we decide what we do and how it impacts others around us.  Where do you fall on the free will vs. determinism spectrum? Do you believe everything is as you make it, or is there a larger force creating the path for you?


Have It Your Way

What happens if we do (or do not) believe in free will?

Towards a scientific concept of free will as a biological trait: spontaneous actions and decision-making in invertebrates

Culture, Personal Autonomy, and Individualism: Their Relationships and Implications for Personal Growth and Well-Being

Self-Identity and Free Will are Beyond our Control

Determinism vs Free Will: Crash Course Philosophy #24 (video)


  • What influences your choices? How do you make decisions?
  • Does free will exist? Or do we live a life of determinism? Can we have both?
  • What happens if we do (or do not) believe in free will? In other words, does believing in free will matter in your daily life? (Seto, 2016)
  • Does societal privilege affect one’s relationship with fate and free will?
  • Is it dangerous to let society/fate make our choices? Would the alternative path of making things happen for yourself be just as dangerous?


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