How Much Of Our Thoughts Are Our Own?

If you take away everything we have, we are left with our thoughts. It would certainly seem like they form the very core of who we are, or our individuality. If I don’t own my thoughts, what else could I possibly own?

And yet great efforts are made to try and control how we think. A movie can make you cry, an ad campaign can make you buy a product, a politician can earn your vote. Manipulating someone’s thoughts to make them do something is incredibly powerful.

I want to believe that what I think is somehow up to me and me alone, but I know that isn’t true. Hence the question: How much of our thoughts are our own?

Related questions: How can we determine how we have been manipulated? What makes you you? Why do we like what we like?

Why Do We Like What We Like?

We all like things: a particular band, or a preferred author. We have a favorite food, and a best friend. Liking things is such a basic element of who we are that it was the first thing you were allowed to do on Facebook — to “like” something.

How we determine these likes is less clear.

Hence our question: Why do we like what we like?

Related questions: What does it mean to like something? How do we change our likes? Why do we dislike what we dislike?