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Ask Mark - Week 5 responses

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Thank you to everyone who posted questions last week. I have recorded a response to four of the many interesting questions you had posed in Step 5.12 of Week 5. My video responses are on YouTube with links below.


Question 1: In the first video “Agency” is likened to “Free Will”. Would you agree the two are different - agency being the capacity to make decisions and act accordingly, consciously or otherwise, and arising from causal chains of thought which in turn, are the product of brain biochemistry; and free will being a more abstract concept carrying some implication of moral judgment?

Actually, does free will even exist?

Response to question 1 - length: 12:51


Question 2: What is the relationship between agency/instinct and personality and does this work when thinking about determinism vs autonomy?

Response to question 2 - length: 3:31


Question 3: In one of your videos you conclude that thinking requires language. How does this square with the Whorf-Sapir controversy concerning the possibility of non-verbal thought? And what about the capacity of animals to “think”: for example, when a cat is considering its responses to an unfamiliar object in the household?

Response to question 3 - length: 5:53


Question 4: In dealing with the patient’s confabulation the professor makes no mention of challenging it. Is that the best approach to listen and simply accept it as a telling insight into how the person’s mind is making sense of their world?

Response to question 4 - length: 4:04


I look forward to your questions for the last week of the course - you can post them in Step 6.8 of Week 6.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town

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