When I try to picture what the determinist is telling me, I see myself in something like an x-ray view, a shadowy skull balanced on a skeleton, wiggling its jaw or moving about, but with the “person” absent.
Better to drop your grand ambitions and just take things as they come, says Zhuangzi. Don’t fuss so much over life and life won’t stir up a fuss for you.
The position that I have free will seems untenable for anyone less mighty than God. The position that I don’t have free will seems so far from being right that it isn’t even wrong.
Which stories we tell, and how we tell them, goes a long way toward articulating who we are and how we understand ourselves.
The Indian dramatist crafts distinctive emotional effects that allow the audience to savour those emotions; those emotional flavours, or rasas, culminate in a savouring of tranquility; and savouring tranquility offers a foretaste of the spiritual liberation that is our ultimate goal. Not at all bad for a night out at the theatre.
Suppose you could remove all the obstacles to a free and happy life: what would you do then? This is the question Aristotle wants to focus us on.