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  1. added 2019-06-06
    Freedom and Experience: Self-Determination Without Illusions.Magill Kevin - 1997 - London: author open access, originally MacMillan.
    Most of us take it for granted that we are free agents: that we can sometimes act so as to shape our own lives and those of others, that we have choices about how to do so and that we are responsible for what we do. But are we really justified in believing this? For centuries philosophers have argued about whether free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism or natural causation, and they seem no closer to agreeing about (...)
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  2. added 2019-02-11
    Hard Theological Determinism and the Illusion of Free Will: Sri Ramakrishna Meets Lord Kames, Saul Smilansky, and Derk Pereboom.Ayon Maharaj - 2018 - Journal of World Philosophies 3 (2):24-48.
    This essay reconstructs the sophisticated views on free will and determinism of the nineteenth-century Hindu mystic Sri Ramakrishna and brings them into dialogue with the views of three western philosophers—namely, the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Lord Kames and the contemporary analytic philosophers Saul Smilansky and Derk Pereboom. Sri Ramakrishna affirms hard theological determinism, the incompatibilist view that God determines everything we do and think. At the same time, however, he claims that God, in His infinite wisdom, has endowed ordinary unenlightened people (...)
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  3. added 2018-09-23
    Free Will Pessimism.Paul Russell - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 4. New York, NY, USA: pp. 93-120..
    The immediate aim of this paper is to articulate the essential features of an alternative compatibilist position, one that is responsive to sources of resistance to the compatibilist program based on considerations of fate and luck. The approach taken relies on distinguishing carefully between issues of skepticism and pessimism as they arise in this context. A compatibilism that is properly responsive to concerns about fate and luck is committed to what I describe as free will pessimism, which is to be (...)
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  4. added 2018-09-23
    Free Will, Art and Morality.Paul Russell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):307 - 325.
    The discussion in this paper begins with some observations regarding a number of structural similarities between art and morality as it involves human agency. On the basis of these observations we may ask whether or not incompatibilist worries about free will are relevant to both art and morality. One approach is to claim that libertarian free will is essential to our evaluations of merit and desert in both spheres. An alternative approach, is to claim that free will is required only (...)
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  5. added 2018-09-16
    Selective Hard Compatibilism.Paul Russell - 2010 - In J. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 7. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. pp. 149-73.
    .... The strategy I have defended involves drawing a distinction between those who can and cannot legitimately hold an agent responsible in circumstances when the agent is being covertly controlled (e.g. through implantation processes). What is intuitively unacceptable, I maintain, is that an agent should be held responsible or subject to reactive attitudes that come from another agent who is covertly controlling or manipulating him. This places some limits on who is entitled to take up the participant stance in relation (...)
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  6. added 2018-09-15
    “Free Will and Affirmation: Assessing Honderich’s Third Way”.Paul Russell - 2017 - In Gregg D. Caruso (ed.), Ted Honderich on Consciousness, Determinism, and Humanity. London, UK: Palgrave. pp. Pp. 159-79..
    In the third and final part of his A Theory of Determinism (TD) Ted Honderich addresses the fundamental question concerning “the consequences of determinism.” The critical question he aims to answer is what follows if determinism is true? This question is, of course, intimately bound up with the problem of free will and, in particular, with the question of whether or not the truth of determinism is compatible or incompatible with the sort of freedom required for moral responsibility. It is (...)
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  7. added 2018-03-21
    Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. (Free will is understood here as whatever satisfies the control condition of moral responsibility.) Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that (...)
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  8. added 2017-07-29
    How Should Free Will Skeptics Pursue Legal Change?Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):47-54.
    Free will skepticism is the view that people never truly deserve to be praised, blamed, or punished for what they do. One challenge free will skeptics face is to explain how criminality could be dealt with given their skepticism. This paper critically examines the prospects of implementing legal changes concerning crime and punishment derived from the free will skeptical views developed by Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso. One central aspect of the changes their views require is a concern for reducing (...)
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  9. added 2017-07-25
    Student.Krishna Mantirraju - manuscript
    Freedom is an impossibility; the dream of having the ability to choose anything one wants is hampered by reality. However, what aspect of reality ultimately hampers the birth of true freedom? What I propose is that reality itself makes freedom impossible. Furthermore, I also make the logical assumption, from the evidence I have found, that the only entity that can have freedom is a being that is formless, timeless, featureless, and is an infinite environment of nothing. While my studies today (...)
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  10. added 2017-06-18
    An Asymmetrical Approach to Kant's Theory of Freedom.Benjamin Vilhauer - forthcoming - In Dai Heide and Evan Tiffany (ed.), The Idea of Freedom: New Essays on the Interpretation and Significance of Kant's Theory of Freedom.
    Asymmetry theories about free will and moral responsibility are a recent development in the long history of the free will debate. To my knowledge, Kant commentators have not yet explored the possibility of an asymmetrical reconstruction of Kant's theory of freedom, and that will be my goal here. By "free will", I mean the sort of control we would need to be morally responsible for our actions. Kant's term for it is "transcendental freedom", and he refers to the attribution of (...)
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  11. added 2017-04-07
    Free Will: Who Can Know.Kılıç Zafer - manuscript
    I have inquired as to what sort of knowledge humans need to make justifiable claims regarding free will. I defended the thesis that humans do not have the sort of knowledge which would allow them to make such claims. Adopting the view of mind based on cognitive science and Kant’s philosophy of mind, first I laid out the characteristics of that knowledge with the help of a simulation example I devised. Then, upon investigating the epistemic relations between the different sources (...)
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  12. added 2017-02-06
    Free Will Skepticism and the Question of Creativity: Creativity, Desert, and Self-Creation.D. Caruso Gregg - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    Free will skepticism maintains that what we do, and the way we are, is ultimately the result of factors beyond our control and because of this we are never morally responsible for our actions in the basic desert sense—the sense that would make us truly deserving of praise and blame. In recent years, a number of contemporary philosophers have advanced and defended versions of free will skepticism, including Derk Pereboom (2001, 2014), Galen Strawson (2010), Neil Levy (2011), Bruce Waller (2011, (...)
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  13. added 2016-12-08
    Beyond Button Presses: The Neuroscience of Free and Morally Appraisable Actions.Robyn Repko Waller - 2012 - The Monist 95 (3):441-462.
    What are the types of action at issue in the free will and moral responsibility debate? Are the neuroscientists who make claims about free will and moral responsibility studying those types of action? If not, can the existing paradigm in the field be modified to study those types of action? This paper outlines some claims made by neuroscientists about the inefficacy of conscious intentions and the implications of this inefficacy for the existence of free will. It argues that, typically, the (...)
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  14. added 2016-12-08
    Hard Determinism, Humeanism, and Virtue Ethics.Ben Vilhauer - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):121-144.
    Hard determinists hold that we never have alternative possibilities of action—that we only can do what we actually do. This means that if hard determinists accept the “ought implies can” principle, they mustaccept that it is never the case that we ought to do anything we do not do. In other words, they must reject the view that there can be “ought”- based moral reasons to do things we do not do. Hard determinists who wish to accommodate moral reasons to (...)
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  15. added 2016-12-08
    The Main Problem with Usc Libertarianism.Levy Ken - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (2):107-127.
    Libertarians like Robert Kane believe that indeterminism is necessary for free will. They think this in part because they hold both that my being the ultimate cause of at least part of myself is necessary for free will and that indeterminism is necessary for this "ultimate self-causation". But seductive and intuitive as this "USC Libertarianism" may sound, it is untenable. In the end, no metaphysically coherent conception of ultimate self-causation is available. So the basic intuition motivating the USC Libertarian is (...)
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  16. added 2016-10-19
    Hard-Incompatibilist Existentialism: Neuroscience, Punishment, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom & Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
    As philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism continue to gain traction, we are likely to see a fundamental shift in the way people think about free will and moral responsibility. Such shifts raise important practical and existential concerns: What if we came to disbelieve in free will? What would this mean for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law? What would it do to our standing as human beings? Would it cause nihilism and despair as some (...)
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  17. added 2016-09-23
    Free Will and the Asymmetrical Justifiability of Holding Morally Responsible.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):772-789.
    This paper is about an asymmetry in the justification of praising and blaming behaviour which free will theorists should acknowledge even if they do not follow Wolf and Nelkin in holding that praise and blame have different control conditions. That is, even if praise and blame have the same control condition, we must have stronger reasons for believing that it is satisfied to treat someone as blameworthy than we require to treat someone as praiseworthy. Blaming behaviour which involves serious harm (...)
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  18. added 2016-07-31
    Freedom and Thought.Michael Bourke - 2016 - Modern Horizons:1-22.
    Despite recent neuroscientific research purporting to reveal that free will is an illusion, this paper will argue that agency is an inescapable feature of rationality and thought. My aim will not be to address the methodology or interpretation of such research, which I will only mention in passing. Rather, I will examine a collection of basic concepts which are presupposed by thought, and propose that these concepts are interrelated in ways that makes them both basic and irreducibly complex. The collection (...)
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  19. added 2016-05-17
    Moral Responsibility and the Strike Back Emotion: Comments on Bruce Waller’s The Stubborn System of Moral Responsibility.Gregg Caruso - forthcoming - Syndicate Philosophy 1 (1).
    In The Stubborn System of Moral Responsibility (2015), Bruce Waller sets out to explain why the belief in individual moral responsibility is so strong. He begins by pointing out that there is a strange disconnect between the strength of philosophical arguments in support of moral responsibility and the strength of philosophical belief in moral responsibility. While the many arguments in favor of moral responsibility are inventive, subtle, and fascinating, Waller points out that even the most ardent supporters of moral responsibility (...)
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  20. added 2015-08-29
    The Idea of Will.M. M. Dorenbosch - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 6 (7):449-472.
    This article presents a new conceptual view on the conscious will. This new concept approaches our will from the perspective of the requirements of our neural-muscular system and not from our anthropocentric perspective. This approach not only repositions the will at the core of behavior control, it also integrates the studies of Libet and Wegner, which seem to support the opposite. The will does not return as an instrument we use to steer, but rather as part of the way we (...)
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  21. added 2015-06-05
    Free Will Eliminativism: Reference, Error, and Phenomenology.Gregg D. Caruso - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2823-2833.
    Shaun Nichols has recently argued that while the folk notion of free will is associated with error, a question still remains whether the concept of free will should be eliminated or preserved. He maintains that like other eliminativist arguments in philosophy, arguments that free will is an illusion seem to depend on substantive assumptions about reference. According to free will eliminativists, people have deeply mistaken beliefs about free will and this entails that free will does not exist. However, an alternative (...)
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  22. added 2015-06-05
    Precis of Derk Perebooms Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Gregg D. Caruso - 2014 - Science Religion and Culture 1 (3):178-201.
    Derk Perebooms Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life (2014) provides the most lively and comprehensive defense of free will skepticism in the literature. It contains a reworked and expanded version of the view he first developed in Living without Free Will (2001). Important objections to the early book are answered, some slight modifications are introduced, and the overall account is significantly embellished—for example, Pereboom proposes a new account of rational deliberation consistent with the belief that one’s actions are causally (...)
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  23. added 2015-01-31
    Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism.Gregg Caruso - forthcoming - In Elizabeth Shaw (ed.), Free Will Skepticism in Law and Society.
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  24. added 2014-11-23
    Précis of Derk Pereboom’s Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Gregg Caruso - 2014 - Science, Religion and Culture 1 (3):178-201.
    Derk Pereboom’s Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life provides the most lively and comprehensive defense of free will skepticism in the literature. It contains a reworked and expanded version of the view he first developed in Living without Free Will. Important objections to the early book are answered, some slight modifications are introduced, and the overall account is significantly embellished—for example, Pereboom proposes a new account of rational deliberation consistent with the belief that one’s actions are causally determined and (...)
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  25. added 2014-11-23
    (Un)Just Deserts: The Dark Side of Moral Responsibility.Gregg Caruso - 2014 - Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):27-38.
    What would be the consequence of embracing skepticism about free will and/or desert-based moral responsibility? What if we came to disbelieve in moral responsibility? What would this mean for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law? What would it do to our standing as human beings? Would it cause nihilism and despair as some maintain? Or perhaps increase anti-social behavior as some recent studies have suggested (Vohs and Schooler 2008; Baumeister, Masicampo, and DeWall 2009)? Or would it rather (...)
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  26. added 2014-08-04
    Review of Heidi M. Ravven, The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will. [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):251-252.
    The Self Beyond Itself is a defense of an incompatibilist, hard determinist view of free will. Free will is here defined in a very strong sense, as the existence of actions that do not result from any causes other than the agent herself. The question of how to define free will, especially whether it consists in the ability to do otherwise, and what the ability to do otherwise amounts to, is not given much consideration in this book.Ravven frames her work (...)
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  27. added 2014-03-22
    Hard Determinism, Remorse, and Virtue Ethics.Ben Vilhauer - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):547-564.
    When hard determinists reject the claim that people deserve particular kinds of treatment because of how they have acted, they are left with a problem about remorse. Remorse is often represented as a way we impose retribution on ourselves when we understand that we have acted badly. (This view of remorse appears in the work of Freud, and I think it fits our everyday, pretheoretical understanding of one kind of remorse.) Retribution of any kind cannot be appropriate if we do (...)
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  28. added 2014-03-10
    The Ghostly Illusion of Freewill.Brent Silby - 2012 - Cafe Philosophy 4 (Jan/Feb 2012).
    During my childhood I was fascinated by videogames. One game that stands out in my memory is Pacman. It wasn’t the gameplay that interested me so much as the behavior of the ghosts. As you watch them roam around the maze, you get the feeling that they are intelligent. They seem to be making decisions about how best to catch Pacman. But how free are their decisions? One of the interesting things I noticed was that I could play exactly the (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-09
    Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that we are morally responsible are not quite this dramatic. Giving up the belief that (...)
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  30. 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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  31. added 2014-03-04
    Why Free Will Remains a Mystery.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
    Peter van Inwagen contends that free will is a mystery. Here I present an argument in the spirit of van Inwagen's. According to the Assimilation Argument, libertarians cannot plausibly distinguish causally undetermined actions, the ones they take to be exercises of free will, from overtly randomized outcomes of the sort nobody would count as exercises of free will. I contend that the Assimilation Argument improves on related arguments in locating the crucial issues between van Inwagen and libertarians who hope to (...)
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  32. added 2013-12-05
    My Brain Made Me Do It: The Exclusion Argument Against Free Will, and What’s Wrong with It.Christian List & Peter Menzies - 2017 - In H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock & H. Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We offer a critical assessment of the “exclusion argument” against free will, which may be summarized by the slogan: “My brain made me do it, therefore I couldn't have been free”. While the exclusion argument has received much attention in debates about mental causation (“could my mental states ever cause my actions?”), it is seldom discussed in relation to free will. However, the argument informally underlies many neuroscientific discussions of free will, especially the claim that advances in neuroscience seriously challenge (...)
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  33. added 2013-06-15
    The People Problem.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - In Gregg D. Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. pp. 141.
    One reason that many philosophers are reluctant to seriously contemplate the possibility that we lack free will seems to be the view that we must believe we have free will if we are to regard each other as persons in the morally deep sense—the sense that involves deontological notions such as human rights. In the contemporary literature, this view is often informed by P.F. Strawson's view that to treat human beings as having free will is to respond to them with (...)
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  34. added 2012-09-29
    In Defence of Evaluative Compatibilism and Critical Free Will Optimism. A Consequentialist Assessment of the Free Will Debate.Stijn van Gorkum - 2012 - Dissertation, Tilburg University
    In this thesis, I will consider various aspects of the contemporary free will debate from a consequentialist perspective. In chapter 1, I will endorse a particular theory of what matters in life and a certain view of what moral rightness consists in. In chapter 2, I will provide an outline of all the various freedoms that have been proposed as (parts of) accounts of free will and of all the various responsibilities that have been proposed as (parts of) accounts of (...)
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  35. added 2011-05-31
    Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a justification of punishment which can be endorsed by free will skeptics, and which can also be defended against the "using persons as mere means" objection. Free will skeptics must reject retributivism, that is, the view that punishment is just because criminals deserve to suffer based on their actions. Retributivists often claim that theirs is the only justification on which punishment is constrained by desert, and suppose that non-retributive justifications must therefore endorse (...)
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  36. added 2009-07-04
    The Bounds of Freedom.Galen Strawson - 2002 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 441-460.
    The shortest form of the Basic Argument against free will and moral responsibility runs as follows: [1] When you act, you do what you do—in the situation in which you find yourself—because of the way you are. [2] If you do what you do because of the way you are, then in order to be fully and ultimately responsible for what you do you must be fully and ultimately responsible for the way you are. But [3] You cannot be fully (...)
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