Talk:Elbow Room (Dennett book)

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(Just needs something on the books reception for B)


This text is substantially the same as that at

Is the person who posted this here the person who wrote that webpage? Did the author give Wikipedia right of use of this? If not, this should either be deleted or substantially reworked to put it in your own word. -- Infrogmation

I am new to Wikipedia. is my GeoCities website. I adapted the information which I had posted at to produce the material that I posted at

I want this information about the book "Elbow Room to be freely available, edited mercilessly and redistributed at will.

I am not aware of the proper method to add material to Wikipedia that is derived from material I have previously posted on my website. JWSchmidt 20:27 Feb 27, 2003 (UTC)


This was pretty balanced for a book review, but review-ish nonetheless. I took out a bunch of references to "behavioral choice", because I think it's WP:OR and unfairly represents Dennett as denying choice outright as opposed to redefining it. I took out the whole POV/OR "conclusion" section and replaced some of the behavioral choice references with "libertarian free will" and similar language, which is the language Dennett uses. I provided a link to Libertarianism (metaphysics) in each section where I used the term, because obviously it is ambiguous (but important to the topic).

But I really like this book, so please make sure I'm not replacing one POV with another inadvertantly. Thanks. NickelShoe 19:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternative understanding of "Elbow room"[edit]

A section called Alternative understanding of "Elbow room" contains some rather nonsensical material which embodies a naive materialist PoV and a number of classic fallacies. If someone wants to restore it they could argue for the points or souce them NBeale 16:12, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure if the sections are trying to summarize each of the seven chapters of the book or not; they look similar but not quite the same. I think this would be the best way to go about writing the article. Richard001 02:20, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 03:57, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Observations on article improvement[edit]

Greetings. For what it's worth, if I were working on this article, I'd start off by adding page citations from the book itself. Fortunately, at 172 pages (not including bibliography & index), it's not a particularly long book, although it is somewhat information dense, with a good index to aid navigation. Simply begining with that exercise - since the article is after all an attempted synopsis of a book - should automatically address some issues, and point the direction for solution of others.

For example, in the first instance, I would expect the point of view to reflect that of the book, with citations pointing to key comments, paraphrases or quotes from the book. Any commentary on the book by another party should of course have a citation, and perhaps be in a section of its own. Regarding sections, I generally agree with Richard001. If I were starting the article from scratch, I'd probably adopt Dennett's seven main sections and try to synopse what he's saying in each section.

If along the way I happened to create a particularly useful overall synopsis in my own head, I might add a section for that, but I'd be sure that the reader could readily trace my overall synopsis back to the main article. I.e., it should be possible for the reader to readily come to the same synopsis from the information provided. But that's just an 'if'. It wouldn't be my aim to create such an overall synopsis - it would either arise naturally, or it wouldn't.

Sometimes in synopsing a book one finds it more useful to collapse a section or two together, and/or expand on some other sections to a greater level of detail. But that tends to become clear as the exercise unfolds.

But no matter what, I'd start with adding inline citations from the book itself. Format-wise his can be simple. Since it's only one book being synopsed, placing the page or pages in brackets should easily suffice in the first instance. For example, (pp.9-10) if I was describing the Tyrolean Village that Dennett uses to illustrate a sleight-of-hand technique found in some writingsWotnow (talk) 03:43, 29 December 2009 (UTC)Wotnow


The article writes:

Dennett gives his definition of determinism on page one: All physical events are caused or determined by the sum total of all previous events. This definition dodges a question that many people feel should not be dodged: if we repeatedly replayed the universe from the same point in time would it always reach the same future?

How does this definition dodge that question? That question seems to be none other than: is determinism correct? We need the definition to efficiently discuss that question.

I think we should delete this claim that Dennett's definition dodges this question. Maybe Dennett dodges this question, but the definition can't possibly dodge it. John Baez (talk) 00:26, 19 August 2015 (UTC)


The whole world was so lovely Oritsejemine0147 (talk) 12:03, 20 November 2018 (UTC)