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Determinism and freedom in the age of modern science by Sidney Hook

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 Determinism and freedom in the age of modern science
Determinism and freedom

The New York University Institute of Philosophy is an experiment designed to further fruitful discussion in philosophy. The annual regional meetings of the American Philosophical Association perform an excellent and indispensable professional function. But because of the large number of persons involved, the broad scope of the programs, and the adherence to fixed time schedules — natural limitations of all gatherings of this kind — it seems desirable to multiply opportunities for free and sustained interchange of views.

Toward this end, we, therefore, resolved to try something new: to select one philosophical topic or theme for intensive discussion by a small group of philosophers and other scholars and thinkers deeply concerned with it, and willing to explore it together around a long seminar table. We hope our action will inspire similar efforts in other regions of the country. Our great problem was to keep the number of participants within a reasonable compass without making invidious distinctions. No inference is to be made as to a philosopher's eminence or professional qualification to analyze the theme under discussion on the basis of his absence from this Institute. For obvious reasons, geographical considerations played a large role. Nonetheless, we hope to establish a revolving membership for our Institute so that before long all philosophers with a strong interest in the themes under discussion and within easy traveling distance from New York City will on one or another occasion join us as participants in the Institute. On the other hand, the choice of a theme for our first Institute was not very much a problem "Determinism and Freedom" is not only a perennial philosophical issue but seems today to be moving once more into the forefront of intellectual concern. For example, almost contemporary with our Proceedings, the January 1957 issue of Mind contains two long articles on the subject, and the issue before that includes a piece in which it is argued that the entire notion of "moral responsibility" is moribund and should be extruded from the vocabulary of intelligible expressions. ^ Our theme was selected long before these and similar articles appeared.
"Proceedings of the first annual New York University Institute of Philosophy, held at Washington Square, New York, February 9 and 10, 1957."

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