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  1. added 2016-06-14
    Why Compatibilist Intuitions Are Not Mistaken: A Reply to Feltz and Millan.James Andow & Florian Cova - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):550-566.
    In the past decade, a number of empirical researchers have suggested that laypeople have compatibilist intuitions. In a recent paper, Feltz and Millan have challenged this conclusion by claiming that most laypeople are only compatibilists in appearance and are in fact willing to attribute free will to people no matter what. As evidence for this claim, they have shown that an important proportion of laypeople still attribute free will to agents in fatalistic universes. In this paper, we first argue that (...)
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  2. added 2016-06-13
    The Folk Psychological Roots of Free Will.Joshua Shepherd - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. Bloomsbury Academic.
    First, what are the psychological roots of our concept of free will? Second, how might progress on the first question contribute to progress regarding normative debates about the proper concept of free will? In sections two and three I address the first question. Section two discusses recent work in the experimental philosophy of free will, and motivates the study I report in section three. Section four reflects on the second question in light of the reported results. To preview, the results (...)
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  3. added 2015-10-23
    What Do People Find Incompatible With Causal Determinism?Adam Bear & Joshua Knobe - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (8):2025-2049.
    Four studies explored people's judgments about whether particular types of behavior are compatible with determinism. Participants read a passage describing a deterministic universe, in which everything that happens is fully caused by whatever happened before it. They then assessed the degree to which different behaviors were possible in such a universe. Other participants evaluated the extent to which each of these behaviors had various features. We assessed the extent to which these features predicted judgments about whether the behaviors were possible (...)
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  4. added 2015-09-04
    Bound: Essays on Free Will and Responsibility, by Shaun Nichols. [REVIEW]Joshua May - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):416-417.
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  5. added 2015-04-09
    Determinism: Do Untutored Intuitions Feed the Bugbears?Dhar Sharmistha - 2009 - International Journal on Humanistic Ideology 2 (1):167-189.
    Philosophers have since long been relying on their own intuitions to shore up their own belief about agency and about the possibility of reconciliation with the domain of physical events that seems to be freewheeled by an underlying necessitarian process. In a certain philosophical circle, a trend has now emerged to put unprimed intuitions to test through psychological experiments, in order to figure out whether philosophers should exercise some temperance in bringing their own belief about agency to the fore, and (...)
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  6. added 2015-04-08
    Experimental Philosophy, Robert Kane, and the Concept of Free Will.J. Neil Otte - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (1):281-296.
    Trends in experimental philosophy have provided new and compelling results that are cause for re-evaluations in contemporary discussions of free will. In this paper, I argue for one such re-evaluation by criticizing Robert Kane’s well-known views on free will. I argue that Kane’s claims about pre-theoretical intuitions are not supported by empirical findings on two accounts. First, it is unclear that either incompatibilism or compatibalism is more intuitive to nonphilosophers, as different ways of asking about free will and responsibility reveal (...)
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  7. added 2015-02-04
    Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 142-57.
    Examines the relevance of empirical studies of responsibility judgments for traditional philosophical concerns about free will and moral responsibility. We argue that experimental philosophy is relevant to the traditional debates, but that setting up experiments and interpreting data in just the right way is no less difficult than negotiating traditional philosophical arguments. Both routes are valuable, but so far neither promises a way to secure significant agreement among the competing parties. To illustrate, we focus on three sorts of issues. For (...)
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  8. added 2014-10-13
    Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility?: A Case for Rethinking Their Relationship and the Design of Experimental Studies in Moral Psychology.Carrie Figdor & Mark Phelan - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (5):603-627.
    Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moral responsibility. Our results also suggest that experimental investigation of the relationship is ill served by a focus on incompatibilism versus compatibilism. We propose an alternative framework for empirical moral psychology in which judgments of free will and moral responsibility can vary independently in response to many factors. We also suggest (...)
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  9. added 2014-09-30
    Incompatibilism and "Bypassed" Agency.Gunnar Björnsson - 2014 - In Alfred R. Mele (ed.), Surrounding Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 95–112.
    Eddy Nahmias and Dylan Murray have recently argued that when people take agents to lack responsibility in deterministic scenarios, they do so because they take agents’ beliefs, desires and decisions to be bypassed, having no effect on their actions. This might seem like an improbable mistake, but the Bypass Hypothesis is bolstered by intriguing experimental data. Moreover, if the hypothesis is correct, it provides a straightforward error theory for incompatibilist intuitions. This chapter argues that the Bypass Hypothesis, although promising and (...)
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  10. added 2014-07-07
    Experimental Philosophy and the Compatibility of Free Will and Determinism: A Survey.Florian Cova & Yasuko Kitano - 2014 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 22:17-37.
    The debate over whether free will and determinism are compatible is controversial, and produces wide scholarly discussion. This paper argues that recent studies in experimental philosophy suggest that people are in fact “natural compatibilists”. To support this claim, it surveys the experimental literature bearing directly or indirectly upon this issue, before pointing to three possible limitations of this claim. However, notwithstanding these limitations, the investigation concludes that the existing empirical evidence seems to support the view that most people have compatibilist (...)
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  11. added 2014-05-21
    Manipulating Morality: Third‐Party Intentions Alter Moral Judgments by Changing Causal Reasoning.Jonathan Phillips & Alex Shaw - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (8):1320-1347.
    The present studies investigate how the intentions of third parties influence judgments of moral responsibility for other agents who commit immoral acts. Using cases in which an agent acts under some situational constraint brought about by a third party, we ask whether the agent is blamed less for the immoral act when the third party intended for that act to occur. Study 1 demonstrates that third-party intentions do influence judgments of blame. Study 2 finds that third-party intentions only influence moral (...)
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  12. added 2014-05-17
    Consciousness, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility: Taking the Folk Seriously.Joshua Shepherd - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):929-946.
    In this paper, I offer evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness. In sections 2 and 3, I contrast action production via conscious states and processes with action in concordance with an agent's long-standing and endorsed motivations, values, and character traits. Results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits. In section 4, I contrast the absence of (...)
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  13. added 2014-04-02
    The Free-Will Intuitions Scale and the Question of Natural Compatibilism.Oisín Deery, Taylor Davis & Jasmine Carey - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (6):776-801.
    Standard methods in experimental philosophy have sought to measure folk intuitions using experiments, but certain limitations are inherent in experimental methods. Accordingly, we have designed the Free-Will Intuitions Scale to empirically measure folk intuitions relevant to free-will debates using a different method. This method reveals what folk intuitions are like prior to participants' being put in forced-choice experiments. Our results suggest that a central debate in the experimental philosophy of free will—the “natural” compatibilism debate—is mistaken in assuming that folk intuitions (...)
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  14. added 2014-04-02
    The Lesson of Bypassing.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):599-619.
    The idea that incompatibilism is intuitive is one of the key motivators for incompatibilism. Not surprisingly, then philosophers who defend incompatibilism often claim that incompatibilism is the natural, commonsense view about free will and moral responsibility (e.g., Pereboom 2001, Kane Journal of Philosophy 96:217–240 1999, Strawson 1986). And a number of recent studies find that people give apparently incompatibilist responses in vignette studies. When participants are presented with a description of a causal deterministic universe, they tend to deny that people (...)
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  15. added 2014-04-02
    What Makes a Manipulated Agent Unfree?Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):563-593.
    Incompatibilists and compatibilists (mostly) agree that there is a strong intuition that a manipulated agent, i.e., an agent who is the victim of methods such as indoctrination or brainwashing, is unfree. They differ however on why exactly this intuition arises. Incompatibilists claim our intuitions in these cases are sensitive to the manipulated agent’s lack of ultimate control over her actions, while many compatibilists argue that our intuitions respond to damage inflicted by manipulation on the agent’s psychological and volitional capacities. Much (...)
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  16. added 2014-03-17
    The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs About Agency and Responsibility.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Lisa Thomson Ross - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 25:27-41.
    In this paper, we present the results of the construction and validation of a new psychometric tool for measuring beliefs about free will and related concepts: The Free Will Inventory (FWI). In its final form, FWI is a 29-item instrument with two parts. Part 1 consists of three 5-item subscales designed to measure strength of belief in free will, determinism, and dualism. Part 2 consists of a series of fourteen statements designed to further explore the complex network of people’s associated (...)
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  17. added 2014-03-14
    Phenomenal Abilities: Incompatibilism and the Experience of Agency.Oisín Deery, Matthew S. Bedke & Shaun Nichols - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 126–50.
    Incompatibilists often claim that we experience our agency as incompatible with determinism, while compatibilists challenge this claim. We report a series of experiments that focus on whether the experience of having an ability to do otherwise is taken to be at odds with determinism. We found that participants in our studies described their experience as incompatibilist whether the decision was (i) present-focused or retrospective, (ii) imagined or actual, (iii) morally salient or morally neutral. The only case in which participants did (...)
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  18. added 2014-03-10
    Is Free Will an Illusion? Confronting Challenges From the Modern Mind Sciences.Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, vol. 4: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press.
    In this chapter I consider various potential challenges to free will from the modern mind sciences. After motivating the importance of considering these challenges, I outline the argument structure for such challenges: they require simultaneously establishing a particular condition for free will and an empirical challenge to that condition. I consider several potential challenges: determinism, naturalism, and epiphenomenalism, and explain why none of these philosophical challenges is bolstered by new discoveries from neuroscience and psychology. I then respond to relevant empirical (...)
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  19. added 2014-03-08
    On the Very Concept of Free Will.Joshua May - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2849-2866.
    Determinism seems to rule out a robust sense of options but also prevent our choices from being a matter of luck. In this way, free will seems to require both the truth and falsity of determinism. If the concept of free will is coherent, something must have gone wrong. I offer a diagnosis on which this puzzle is due at least in part to a tension already present in the very idea of free will. I provide various lines of support (...)
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  20. added 2014-02-10
    A Unified Empirical Account of Responsibility Judgments.Gunnar Björnsson & Karl Persson - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):611-639.
    Skeptical worries about moral responsibility seem to be widely appreciated and deeply felt. To address these worries—if nothing else to show that they are mistaken—theories of moral responsibility need to relate to whatever concept of responsibility underlies the worries. Unfortunately, the nature of that concept has proved hard to pin down. Not only do philosophers have conflicting intuitions; numerous recent empirical studies have suggested that both prosaic responsibility judgments and incompatibilist intuitions among the folk are influenced by a number of (...)
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  21. added 2014-02-10
    Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  22. added 2013-10-31
    A Naturalistic Vision of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias & Morgan Thompson - 2014 - In Elizabeth O'Neill & Edouard Machery (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. Routledge.
    We argue, contra Joshua Knobe in a companion chapter, that most people have an understanding of free will and responsible agency that is compatible with a naturalistic vision of the human mind. Our argument is supported by results from a new experimental philosophy study showing that most people think free will is consistent with complete and perfect prediction of decisions and actions based on prior activity in the brain (a scenario adapted from Sam Harris who predicts most people will find (...)
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  23. added 2013-08-17
    Frankfurt-Style Cases User Manual: Why Frankfurt-Style Enabling Cases Do Not Necessitate Tech Support.Florian Cova - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):505-521.
    ‘Frankfurt-style cases’ (FSCs) are widely considered as having refuted the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) by presenting cases in which an agent is morally responsible even if he could not have done otherwise. However, Neil Levy (J Philos 105:223–239, 2008) has recently argued that FSCs fail because we are not entitled to suppose that the agent is morally responsible, given that the mere presence of a counterfactual intervener is enough to make an agent lose responsibility-grounding abilities. Here, I distinguish two (...)
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  24. added 2012-09-22
    Explaining the Abstract/Concrete Paradoxes in Moral Psychology: The NBAR Hypothesis.Eric Mandelbaum & David Ripley - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):351-368.
    For some reason, participants hold agents more responsible for their actions when a situation is described concretely than when the situation is described abstractly. We present examples of this phenomenon, and survey some attempts to explain it. We divide these attempts into two classes: affective theories and cognitive theories. After criticizing both types of theories we advance our novel hypothesis: that people believe that whenever a norm is violated, someone is responsible for it. This belief, along with the familiar workings (...)
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  25. added 2012-07-18
    Moral Judgments and Intuitions About Freedom.Jonathan Phillips & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Psychological Inquiry 20 (1):30-36.
    Reeder’s article offers a new and intriguing approach to the study of people’s ordinary understanding of freedom and constraint. On this approach, people use information about freedom and constraint as part of a quasi-scientific effort to make accurate inferences about an agent’s motives. Their beliefs about the agent’s motives then affect a wide variety of further psychological processes, including the process whereby they arrive at moral judgments. In illustrating this new approach, Reeder cites an elegant study he conducted a number (...)
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  26. added 2012-06-21
    Intuitions About Free Will, Determinism, and Bypassing.Eddy Nahmias - 2011 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press.
    It is often called “the problem of free will and determinism,” as if the only thing that might challenge free will is determinism and as if determinism is obviously a problem. The traditional debates about free will have proceeded accordingly. Typically, incompatibilists about free will and determinism suggest that their position is intuitive or commonsensical, such that compatibilists have the burden of showing how, despite appearances, the problem of determinism is not really a problem. Compatibilists, in turn, tend to proceed (...)
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  27. added 2012-02-21
    Judgments About Moral Responsibility and Determinism in Patients with Behavioural Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia: Still Compatibilists.Florian Cova, Maxime Bertoux, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Bruno Dubois - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):851-864.
    Do laypeople think that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Recently, philosophers and psychologists trying to answer this question have found contradictory results: while some experiments reveal people to have compatibilist intuitions, others suggest that people could in fact be incompatibilist. To account for this contradictory answers, Nichols and Knobe (2007) have advanced a ‘performance error model’ according to which people are genuine incompatibilist that are sometimes biased to give compatibilist answers by emotional reactions. To test for this hypothesis, we (...)
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  28. added 2011-06-07
    Apparent Paradoxes in Moral Reasoning; Or How You Forced Him to Do It, Even Though He Wasn’T Forced to Do It.Jonathan Phillips & Liane Young - 2011 - Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society:138-143.
    The importance of situational constraint for moral evaluations is widely accepted in philosophy, psychology, and the law. However, recent work suggests that this relationship is actually bidirectional: moral evaluations can also influence our judgments of situational constraint. For example, if an agent is thought to have acted immorally rather than morally, that agent is often judged to have acted with greater freedom and under less situational constraint. Moreover, when considering interpersonal situations, we judge that an agent who forces another to (...)
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  29. added 2011-05-21
    Compatibilism Vs. Incompatibilism: An Integrated Approach From Participant Stance and Affect.Sharmistha Dhar - 2009 - Logos Architekton 3 (1):247-269.
    Following the recent surge in experimental philosophy exploring how unprimed intuitions enable the folk arrive at judgments concerning free will and moral responsibility, a widespread anomaly in folk intuitions has been reported. This has given rise to two different explanatory frameworks- one counting on affect that has been projected as making all the difference between compatibilism and Incompatibilism and the other relying on Strawsonian participant attitude while accounting for compatibilist responses. The aim of this paper is to bring to the (...)
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  30. added 2011-05-21
    Folk Fears About Freedom and Responsibility: Determinism Vs. Reductionism.Eddy Nahmias - 2006 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1-2):215-237.
    My initial work, with collaborators Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer, and Jason Turner (2005, 2006), on surveying folk intuitions about free will and moral responsibility was designed primarily to test a common claim in the philosophical debates: that ordinary people see an obvious conflict between determinism and both free will and moral responsibility, and hence, the burden is on compatibilists to motivate their theory in a way that explains away or overcomes this intuitive support for incompatibilism. The evidence, if any, offered (...)
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  31. added 2011-05-21
    Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
    Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of (...)
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  32. added 2011-05-21
    The Phenomenology of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
    Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we survey the (limited) psychological research on the experiences (...)
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