The purpose of this thesis is to understand the origins of the enduring differences between the Eastern and Western interpretations of free will and determinism. In my piece, I work to determine the roots of these differences and to what degree these differences have been challenged and disrupted in the 20th century. In this pursuit, I analyze the different philosophies of free will in the East and West and then apply these philosophies to the literature of both regions. For the eastern scholarship, I am using Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea and Motojirō Kajii’s “Lemon.” For the Western works, I am analyzing Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” After thoroughly analyzing the pieces, I discuss the possible dialogues between the East and the West to help fully realize the legitimacy of the claim that the two regions continue to harbor distinct interpretations of free will and determinism.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Colecio, Nicholas J., "The Study of Free Will in the East and the West" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 631.