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  1. The impact of free will beliefs on implicit learning.David Wisniewski, Davide Rigoni, Luc Vermeylen, Senne Braem, Elger Abrahamse & Marcel Brass - 2023 - Consciousness and Cognition 107 (C):103448.
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  • Free will beliefs are better predicted by dualism than determinism beliefs across different cultures.David Wisniewski, Robert Deutschländer & John-Dylan Haynes - 2019 - PLoS ONE 14 (9).
    Most people believe in free will. Whether this belief is warranted or not, free will beliefs are foundational for many legal systems and reducing FWB has effects on behavior from the motor to the social level. This raises the important question as to which specific FWB people hold. There are many different ways to conceptualize free will, and some might see physical determinism as a threat that might reduce FWB, while others might not. Here, we investigate lay FWB in a (...)
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  • Weighing in on decisions in the brain: neural representations of pre-awareness practical intention.Robyn Repko Waller - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5175-5203.
    Neuroscientists have located brain activity that prepares or encodes action plans before agents are aware of intending to act. On the basis of these findings and broader agency research, activity in these regions has been proposed as the neural realizers of practical intention. My aim in this paper is to evaluate the case for taking these neural states to be neural representations of intention. I draw on work in philosophy of action on the role and nature of practical intentions to (...)
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  • Distinguishing free will from moral responsibility when measuring free will beliefs: The FWS-II.Alec J. Stinnett, Jordan E. Rodriguez, Andrew K. Littlefield & Jessica L. Alquist - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Previous research suggests that free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs are strongly linked, yet ultimately distinct. Unfortunately, the most common measure of free will beliefs, the free will subscale (FWS) of the Free Will and Determinism Plus, seems to confound free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs. Thus, the present research (1,700 participants across two studies) details the development of a 2-factor FWS – the FWS-II – that divides the FWS into a free will subscale and a moral responsibility (...)
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  • Consider the tumor: Brain tumors decrease punishment via perceptions of free will.Alec J. Stinnett & Jessica L. Alquist - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (1):162-185.
    Two experiments tested the hypothesis that neurological abnormalities decrease punishment by decreasing perceptions of free will. Experiment 1 found that a brain tumor decreased punishment for criminal behavior by decreasing perceptions of the afflicted criminal’s free will. This effect was stronger for liberal and non-religious participants than for conservative and religious participants. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 and additionally found that a brain tumor decreased perceptions of the afflicted criminal’s conscious decisions and true self, thereby decreasing perceptions of his free (...)
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  • How Libet-Style Experiments May Challenge Lay Theories of Free Will.Jason Shepard - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (1):45-47.
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  • Does Belief in Dualism Protect against Maladaptive Psycho-Social Responses to Deep Brain Stimulation? An Empirical Exploration.Jason Shepard & Joshua May - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 5 (4):40–42.
    We provide empirical evidence that people who believe in dualism are more likely to be uncomfortable with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and to view it as threatening to their identity, humanity, or self. It is (neurocentric) materialists—who think the mind just is the brain—that are less inclined to fear DBS or to see it as threatening. We suggest various possible reasons for this connection. The inspiration for this brief report is a target article that addresses this issue from a theoretical (...)
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  • Determinism, Moral Responsibility and Retribution.Elizabeth Shaw & Robert Blakey - 2019 - Neuroethics 13 (1):99-113.
    In this article, we will identify two issues that deserve greater attention from those researching lay people’s attitudes to moral responsibility and determinism. The first issue concerns whether people interpret the term “moral responsibility” in a retributive way and whether they are motivated to hold offenders responsible for pre-determined behaviour by considerations other than retributivism, e.g. the desires to condemn the action and to protect society. The second issue concerns whether explicitly rejecting moral responsibility and retributivism, after reading about determinism, (...)
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  • Instrumentalist analyses of the functions of ethics concept-principles: a proposal for synergetic empirical and conceptual enrichment.Eric Racine, M. Ariel Cascio, Marjorie Montreuil & Aline Bogossian - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (4):253-278.
    Bioethics has made a compelling case for the role of experience and empirical research in ethics. This may explain why the movement for empirical ethics has such a firm grounding in bioethics. However, the theoretical framework according to which empirical research contributes to ethics—and the specific role it can or should play—remains manifold and unclear. In this paper, we build from pragmatic theory stressing the importance of experience and outcomes in establishing the meaning of ethics concepts. We then propose three (...)
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  • Free Will and the Brain Disease Model of Addiction: The Not So Seductive Allure of Neuroscience and Its Modest Impact on the Attribution of Free Will to People with an Addiction.Eric Racine, Sebastian Sattler & Alice Escande - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8:246537.
    Free will has been the object of debate in the context of addiction given that addiction could compromise an individual’s ability to choose freely between alternative courses of action. Proponents of the brain-disease model of addiction have argued that a neuroscience perspective on addiction reduces the attribution of free will because it relocates the cause of the disorder to the brain rather than to the person, thereby diminishing the blame attributed to the person with an addiction. Others have worried that (...)
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  • Implications of the TASI taxonomy for understanding inconsistent effects pertaining to free will beliefs.Tom St Quinton & David Trafimow - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Whether people possess free will has been a long-lasting philosophical debate. Recent attention in social psychology has been given to the behavioral consequences of believing in free will. Research has demonstrated that manipulating free will beliefs has implications for many social behaviors. For example, free will belief manipulations have been associated with cheating, aggressiveness, and prejudice. Despite this work, some of these findings have failed to replicate. Testing theoretical predictions, such as whether believing in free will influences behavior, depends on (...)
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  • Belief in free will: Integration into social cognition models to promote health behavior.Tom St Quinton & A. William Crescioni - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    The question of whether free will exists has been debated extensively for centuries. Instead of debating this complex issue, recent work in psychology has sought to understand the consequences of beliefs in free will. That is, how are people’s behaviors influenced when they either believe or do not believe in free will? Amongst many outcomes, research has identified free will beliefs to influence achievement, perseverance, and aggressiveness. We believe that beliefs in free will could also exert influence on health behaviors. (...)
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  • Do Obligations Follow the Mind or Body?John Protzko, Kevin Tobia, Nina Strohminger & Jonathan W. Schooler - 2023 - Cognitive Science 47 (7):e13317.
    Do you persist as the same person over time because you keep the same mind or because you keep the same body? Philosophers have long investigated this question of personal identity with thought experiments. Cognitive scientists have joined this tradition by assessing lay intuitions about those cases. Much of this work has focused on judgments of identity continuity. But identity also has practical significance: obligations are tagged to one's identity over time. Understanding how someone persists as the same person over (...)
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  • Construal level and free will beliefs shape perceptions of actors' proximal and distal intent.Jason E. Plaks & Jeffrey S. Robinson - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:135664.
    Two components of lay observers’ calculus of moral judgment are proximal intent (the actor’s mind is focused on performing the action) and distal intent (the actor’s mind is focused on the broader goal). What causes observers to prioritize one form of intent over the other? The authors observed whether construal level (Studies 1-2) and beliefs about free will (Studies 3-4) would influence participants’ sensitivity to the actor’s proximal versus distal intent. In four studies, participants read scenarios in which the actor’s (...)
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  • Perceptions of Undue Influence Shed Light on the Folk Conception of Autonomy.Fay Niker, Peter B. Reiner & Gidon Felsen - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9:392196.
    Advances in psychology and neuroscience have elucidated the social aspects of human agency, leading to a broad shift in our thinking about fundamental concepts such as autonomy and responsibility. Here, we address a critical aspect of this inquiry by investigating how people consider the socio-relational nature of their own agency, particularly the influence of others on their perceived control over their decisions and actions. Specifically, in a series of studies using contrastive vignettes, we examine public attitudes about when external influences (...)
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  • Natural Compatibilism, Indeterminism, and Intrusive Metaphysics.Thomas Nadelhoffer, David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & Shaun Nichols - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (8):e12873.
    The claim that common sense regards free will and moral responsibility as compatible with determinism has played a central role in both analytic and experimental philosophy. In this paper, we show that evidence in favor of this “natural compatibilism” is undermined by the role that indeterministic metaphysical views play in how people construe deterministic scenarios. To demonstrate this, we re-examine two classic studies that have been used to support natural compatibilism. We find that although people give apparently compatibilist responses, this (...)
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  • Folk intuitions and the conditional ability to do otherwise.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Siyuan Yin & Rose Graves - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (7):968-996.
    In a series of pre-registered studies, we explored (a) the difference between people’s intuitions about indeterministic scenarios and their intuitions about deterministic scenarios, (b) the difference between people’s intuitions about indeterministic scenarios and their intuitions about neurodeterministic scenarios (that is, scenarios where the determinism is described at the neurological level), (c) the difference between people’s intuitions about neutral scenarios (e.g., walking a dog in the park) and their intuitions about negatively valenced scenarios (e.g., murdering a stranger), and (d) the difference (...)
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  • Not what I expected: Feeling of surprise differentially mediates effect of personal control on attributions of free will and responsibility.Samuel Murray & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-25.
    Some have argued that advances in the science of human decision-making, particularly research on automaticity and unconscious priming, would ultimately thwart our commonsense understanding of free will and moral responsibility. Do people interpret this research as a threat to their self-understanding as free and responsible agents? We approached this question by seeing how feelings of surprise mediate the relationship between personal sense of control and third-personal attributions of free will and responsibility. Across three studies (N = 1,516) we found that (...)
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  • Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions.Dylan Murray & Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):434-467.
    The debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists depends in large part on what ordinary people mean by ‘free will’, a matter on which previous experimental philosophy studies have yielded conflicting results. In Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer, and Turner (2005, 2006), most participants judged that agents in deterministic scenarios could have free will and be morally responsible. Nichols and Knobe (2007), though, suggest that these apparent compatibilist responses are performance errors produced by using concrete scenarios, and that their abstract scenarios reveal the folk (...)
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  • Twenty years of experimental philosophy research.Jincai Li & Xiaozhen Zhu - 2023 - Metaphilosophy 54 (1):29-53.
    This paper reports the first study in the literature that adopts a bibliometric approach to systematically explore the scholarship in the young and fast‐growing research field of experimental philosophy. Based on a corpus of 1,248 publications in experimental philosophy from the past two decades retrieved from the PhilPapers website, the study examined the publication trend, the influential experimental philosophers, the impactful works, the popular publication venues, and the major research themes in this subarea of philosophy. It found, first, an overall (...)
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  • Thinking Reasonably about Indeterministic Choice Beliefs.Andrew Kissel - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (8):588-601.
    Recent research suggests that, regardless of the truth of libertarianism about free will, there appears to be a widespread belief among nonphilosopher laypersons that the choices of free agents are not causally necessitated by prior states of affairs. In this paper, I propose a new class of debunking explanation for this belief which I call ‘reasons-based accounts’. I start the paper by briefly recounting the failures of extant approaches to debunking explanations, and then use this as a jumping off point (...)
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  • The hand of God or the hand of Maradona? Believing in free will increases perceived intentionality of others’ behavior.Oliver Genschow, Davide Rigoni & Marcel Brass - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 70 (C):80-87.
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  • Free to blame? Belief in free will is related to victim blaming.Oliver Genschow & Benjamin Vehlow - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 88 (C):103074.
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  • Reforming responsibility practices without skepticism.Marcelo Fischborn - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology (NA):1-17.
    Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso argue that humans are never morally responsible for their actions and take that thesis as a starting point for a project whose ultimate goal is the reform of responsibility practices, which include expressions of praise, blame, and the institution of legal punishment. This paper shares the skeptical concern that current responsibility practices can be suboptimal and in need of change, but argues that a non-skeptical pursuit of those changes is viable and more promising. The main (...)
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  • Questions for a Science of Moral Responsibility.Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):381-394.
    In the last few decades, the literature on moral responsibility has been increasingly populated by scientific studies. Studies in neuroscience and psychology, in particular, have been claimed to be relevant for discussions about moral responsibility in a number of ways. And at the same time, there is not yet a systematic understanding of the sort of questions a science of moral responsibility is supposed to answer. This paper is an attempt to move toward such an understanding. I discuss three models (...)
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  • How Should Free Will Skeptics Pursue Legal Change?Marcelo Fischborn - 2017 - 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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  • The free will and punishment scale: Efficient measurement and predictive validity across diverse and nationally representative adult samples.Adam Feltz, Edward Cokely & Braden Tanner - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 95 (C):103215.
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  • Cultural pressure and biased responding in free will attitudes.Emiel Cracco, Carlos Gonzalez-Garcia, Ian Hussey, Senne Braem & David Wisniewski - 2020 - Royal Society Open Science 7 (8).
    Whether you believe free will exists has profound effects on your behaviour, across different levels of processing, from simple motor action to social cognition. It is therefore important to understand which specific lay theories are held in the general public and why. Past research largely focused on investigating free will beliefs, but largely ignored a second key aspect: free will attitudes. Attitudes are often independently predictive of behaviour, relative to beliefs, yet we currently know very little about FWAs in the (...)
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  • Forget the Folk: Moral Responsibility Preservation Motives and Other Conditions for Compatibilism.Cory J. Clark, Bo M. Winegard & Roy F. Baumeister - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10:397001.
    For years, experimental philosophers have attempted to discern whether laypeople find free will compatible with a scientifically deterministic understanding of the universe, yet no consensus has emerged. The present work provides one potential explanation for these discrepant findings: People are strongly motivated to preserve free will and moral responsibility, and thus do not have stable, logically rigorous notions of free will. Seven studies support this hypothesis by demonstrating that a variety of logically irrelevant (but motivationally relevant) features influence compatibilist judgments. (...)
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  • Dualists and physicalists agree, free will is incompatible with determinism.Mark Wulff Carstensen, Stephan Sellmaier, Paul C. J. Taylor & Ophelia Deroy - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Belief in substance dualism, the idea that mind and matter are two different kinds of substances, has been found to be a strong predictor of belief in free will. Why? Here, we test whether believing that mind and matter are different kinds of substance correlates with differences in how people think of free will and/or differences in how people interpret the scenarios used to test their conceptions. We provided participants (N = 515) with two hypothetical scenarios where the world was (...)
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  • No Differential Effects of Neural and Psychological Explanations of Psychopathy on Moral Behavior.Robert Blakey, Adrian Dahl Askelund, Matilde Boccanera, Johanna Immonen, Nejc Plohl, Cassandra Popham, Clarissa Sorger & Julia Stuhlreyer - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9:302406.
    Research in neurocriminology has explored the link between neural functions and structures and the psychopathic disposition. This online experiment aimed to assess the effect of communicating the neuroscience of psychopathy on the degree to which lay people exhibited attitudes characteristic of psychopathy in particular in terms of moral behaviour. If psychopathy is blamed on the brain, people may feel less morally responsible for their own psychopathic tendencies. In the study, participants read false feedback about their own psychopathic traits supposedly inferred (...)
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  • Does Watching a Play about the Teenage Brain Affect Attitudes toward Young Offenders?Robert Blakey - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8:259361.
    Neuroscience is increasingly used to infer the cognitive capacities of offenders from the activity and volume of different brain regions, with the resultant findings receiving great interest in the public eye. This field experiment tested the effects of public engagement in neuroscience on attitudes towards offenders. Brainstorm is a play about teenage brain development. Either before or after watching this play, 728 participants responded to four questions about the age of criminal responsibility, and the moral responsibility and dangerousness of a (...)
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  • Lessons for experimental philosophy from the rise and “fall” of neurophilosophy.John Bickle - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):1-22.
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  • The weirdness of belief in free will.Renatas Berniūnas, Audrius Beinorius, Vilius Dranseika, Vytis Silius & Paulius Rimkevičius - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 87:103054.
    It has been argued that belief in free will is socially consequential and psychologically universal. In this paper we look at the folk concept of free will and its critical assessment in the context of recent psychological research. Is there a widespread consensus about the conceptual content of free will? We compared English “free will” with its lexical equivalents in Lithuanian, Hindi, Chinese and Mongolian languages and found that unlike Lithuanian, Chinese, Hindi and Mongolian lexical expressions of “free will” do (...)
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  • Bound to Share or Not to Care. The Force of Fate, Gods, Luck, Chance and Choice across Cultures.Renatas Berniūnas, Audrius Beinorius, Vilius Dranseika, Vytis Silius & Paulius Rimkevičius - 2023 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 23 (3-4):451-475.
    People across cultures consider everyday choices in the context of perceived various external life-determining forces: such as fate and gods (two teleological forces) and such notions as luck and chance (two non-teleological forces). There is little cross-cultural evidence (except for a belief in gods) showing how people relate these salient notions of life-determining forces to prosociality and a sense of well-being. The current paper provides preliminary cross-cultural data to address this gap. Results indicate that choice is the most important life-determining (...)
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  • 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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  • Voluntary decision-making in addiction: A comprehensive review of existing measurement tools.Claudia Barned, Marianne Rochette & Eric Racine - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 91 (C):103115.
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  • “Could Have Chosen Otherwise Under Identical Conditions”: An Evolutionary Perspective on Free Will.John Banja - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 6 (2):3-11.
    Using an evolutionary perspective, this article examines the cogency of the libertarian formulation of free will—that is, that individuals have free will if they “could have acted or chosen otherwise under identical conditions.” The article argues that by representing the agent as a disembodied self acting and choosing in logical rather than in contextualized, lived-in space, the libertarian formulation misconstrues human willing in ways that invite a host of philosophical problems that persist to the present day. This article indicts the (...)
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  • Can the Sense of Agency Be a Marker of Free Will?Paweł Balcerak - 2019 - Studia Humana 8 (2):69-78.
    In this paper, I will analyse the relation between a sense of agency and free will. It is often proposed that by investigating the former, we can find a way of judging when an action is voluntary. Haggard seems to be one of the authors believing so. To answer if this assumption is correct, I will: 1) analyse the categories of free will and agency; 2) define the sense of agency; 3) describe ways of investigating the sense of agency; 4) (...)
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  • Existential risks: New Zealand needs a method to agree on a value framework and how to quantify future lives at risk.Matthew Boyd & Nick Wilson - 2018 - Policy Quarterly 14 (3):58-65.
    Human civilisation faces a range of existential risks, including nuclear war, runaway climate change and superintelligent artificial intelligence run amok. As we show here with calculations for the New Zealand setting, large numbers of currently living and, especially, future people are potentially threatened by existential risks. A just process for resource allocation demands that we consider future generations but also account for solidarity with the present. Here we consider the various ethical and policy issues involved and make a case for (...)
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  • Aprimoramento das práticas punitivas e prevenção distal do crime: uma alternativa ao ceticismo sobre a responsabilidade moral.Marcelo Fischborn - 2022 - Princípios 29 (59).
    Resumo: Em décadas recentes, a investigação filosófica sobre a responsabilidade moral e o livre-arbítrio, que por muito tempo foi vista como um empreendimento principalmente teórico, passou a também incluir preocupações de tipo mais prático. Essa mudança é bem ilustrada pela proposta cética desenvolvida por autores como Derk Pereboom e Gregg Caruso. Seus trabalhos não apenas negam que sejamos agentes livres e moralmente responsáveis (em um sentido específico dos termos em questão), mas também defendem reformas na maneira como a responsabilização é (...)
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  • Freedom and chance.Mark Wulff Carstensen - unknown
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  • The association between belief in free will, personal control, and life outcomes.Peter Gooding - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Essex
    The empirical investigation of free will beliefs is a fascinating and extensive field, offering potential insights into the extent and ramifications of free will beliefs, but this research is not without its limitations. Many competing definitions of free will exist. These competing definitions have informed the variety of free will manipulations and measures currently used, often without researchers properly addressing the important differences in the understandings of free will being operationalised, manipulated and measured. These manipulations and measures are also typically (...)
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