Professor Landy Discusses the Science, Philosophy of Hulu Show 'Devs'

Friday, April 10, 2020

THE RINGER -- Furthermore, adds David Landy of San Francisco State University, the fact that we see something happen one way doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have happened otherwise.

“Suppose we know that some guy is going to fold his arms,” Landy says. “Does it follow that he lacks the ability to not fold his arms? Well, no, because what we usually mean by ‘has the ability to not fold his arms’ is that if things had gone differently, he wouldn’t have folded his arms. But by stipulating at the start that he is going to fold his arms, we also stipulate that things aren’t going to go differently. But it can remain true that if they did go differently, he would not have folded his arms. So, he might have that ability, even if we know he is not going to exercise it.”