Thursday, January 19, 2017

TOK 2, Day 49 (1/18): Free Will vs. Determinism

As we watch Minority Report, consider the following questions that the film seems to raise:

  1. What is the relationship between free will and determinism? How is this relationship explored through the areas of knowledge? Consider:
    1. Maths: What does it mean that the Precogs are "pattern recognition filters?" Relate this to your understanding of algorithms and machine learning.
    2. Human Sciences: How are the predictions of the Precogs linked to an idea of human behavior as "socially constructed?
    3. Natural Sciences: What does the ability or inability to "change the future" suggest about the nature of the physical universe? Compare this to your understanding of a deterministic "billiard ball" universe as described by Newtonian physics.
    4. Ethics: What are the ethical implications of the assumption that the future is knowable?  What does it mean for a discovery of meaning in life?
  2. What are the implications of the films treatment of the connections between Capitalist materialism and a surveillance society?

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