I just read another question from this website about free will, decided to ask my own rather than comment on another. I have no formal education in philosophy. I almost want to ask this question from an inexperienced, uniformed position...

Without getting too heavily into references that I'd be unfamiliar with, why is it that existentialism isn't compatible with the idea of free will being an illusion?

I understand that one's world view doesn't have to fit into the philosophy mapped out by someone maybe centuries ago exactly, but in a general sense I think I agree with existentialism in that it is up to each of us to derive meaning from our experiences, and to find purpose in life. I also believe that we don't author our thoughts and are affected by external stimuli which shapes our bias and perception constantly.

Is this even a question? Is philosophy more the study of philosophers and interpreting their works, or generating new ideas based on those people?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/7502/…
    – user14511
    Nov 19, 2022 at 18:40
  • There's something in here about how Aristotle thought bees were divine, but it won't come clear.
    – Boba Fit
    Nov 19, 2022 at 22:59
  • If we "we don't author our thoughts" then what would "it is up to each of us to derive meaning" even mean? One would have to twist the meaning of words rather drastically to make this coherent, which is the problem with free will compatibilism generally.
    – Conifold
    Nov 21, 2022 at 2:01


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