I especially enjoyed the bit right at the end:
For most philosophy students, I can tell how well they’re doing in gaining the right skills by how worried much they understand compatibilism about freedom of the will. When they are no longer worried about determinism being compatible with free will, they tend to also be good at philosophizing. For whatever reason, “How I learned to stop worrying and love the determinism” tends to be a pretty good marker.
I am not a philosopher. I am not very good at philosophy. I get hung up on the free will vs determinism issue (usually when talking about neuroeconomics here and here). So this sound like a legit rule 🙂
In terms of understanding action, I am not sure the distinction is actually terribly important – in both cases, people will be following what appear to be deterministic rules. But how we interpret those rules, and policy actions around them, has a moral element which we may value in different ways depending on whether we view the mind, and in turn how we view action as due to free will or determinism. I think that sort of stuff sounds pretty interesting and cool, even though it is over my head 🙂