Readers of my last post have appealed to Einstein the Eminent as the final authority on free will but haven’t produced a definitive quote. Below is one with which Daniel Wegner closes his book The Illusion of Conscious Will. Wegner cites the article “Einstein and Tagore: Man, Nature and Mysticism,” by D. Home and A. Robinson, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2: 167-179, 1995:
If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord… So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
Wow, pretty chilling, eh? As I said in a recent Times essay, oracular utterances such as this one—as much as his scientific work—have transformed Einstein into the sage of our age. But Einstein (and it gives me no pleasure to say this, well, maybe a little) was clearly wrong—wrong wrong wrong!--about free will. Can anyone tell me why?