Free will

Tiffany Jenkins (Perspective, 11 April) throws much-needed intellectual light on the hoary philosophical debate of free will versus determinism.

Quite rightly in her reasoned way she concludes deterministic genetics subvert our capacity for moral independence. Presumably by this is meant that the loss of free will also augurs the end of political freedom.

What is to stop an elite from claiming their superior position is because of their genetics?

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Wasn’t ancient India organised in hierarchical castes attributed by birth not through individual merit by competition?

It seems genetic determinism is a convenient way of “being born to rule” and fits elitism.

Isn’t there a grave danger this ideology justifies the massive gap between affluence and poverty? Arguably, most topics now claimed by new popular determinist disciplines can be understood as political economy.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk