The Strangest Author’s Note I’ve Ever Read


The picture of the human condition presented here is in many ways disturbing. This might be a reason for some people not to read the book — perhaps those who lack familiarity with the ways of philosophical discourse,  for the young, the very sensitive, and for those who are liable to depression. I ask the prospective reader to bear this in mind.

The content of this book may also be misunderstood or abused at the social level. To my understanding there is nothing here which contradicts the social values I hold, affirming a humanistic outlook based on universal equal human rights and a constitutional democratic regime. I request that the reader take care in understanding the complex arguments being made, and not jump to simplistic and hasty conclusions. Any attempt to enlist this book in a movement opposed to the enlightened humanistic ethos of Western civilization, or to use it in a way which opposes academic freedom, or which leads to intolerance or cruelty towards men and woman, lacks foundation in this work.

The author is Professor Saul Smilansky of Haifa University. The book is Free Will and Illusion. It was first published in 2000 by the Oxford University Press.

I’ll let you know if I make it through the book and still have anything to say.