Are we free or are our actions determined by the laws of physics? And how much free will do we actually want? These questions have troubled philosophers for millennia – and there are still no perfect answers.
But it turns out that a character from a children’s TV series can provide a clue. Thomas the Tank Engine, despite being a locomotive, behaves like a human. He makes decisions and choices. And he is morally responsible: when he does something wrong, he gets punished.
But look deeper and things become complicated. He is an engine. His movements are determined by the shape of the tracks, the workings of his engine and the employees of the railway. So is his free will just an illusion?
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