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  1. Experimental Philosophy on Free Will: An Error Theory for Incompatibilist Intuitions.Eddy Nahmias & Dylan Murray - 2011 - In Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.), New waves in philosophy of action. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 189--215.
    We discuss recent work in experimental philosophy on free will and moral responsibility and then present a new study. Our results suggest an error theory for incompatibilist intuitions. Most laypersons who take determinism to preclude free will and moral responsibility apparently do so because they mistakenly interpret determinism to involve fatalism or “bypassing” of agents’ relevant mental states. People who do not misunderstand determinism in this way tend to see it as compatible with free will and responsibility. We discuss why (...)
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  • Is Belief in Free Will a Cultural Universal?Hagop Sarkissian, Amita Chatterjee, Felipe de Brigard, Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols & Smita Sirker - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (3):346-358.
    Recent experimental research has revealed surprising patterns in people's intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. One limitation of this research, however, is that it has been conducted exclusively on people from Western cultures. The present paper extends previous research by presenting a cross-cultural study examining intuitions about free will and moral responsibility in subjects from the United States, Hong Kong, India and Colombia. The results revealed a striking degree of cross-cultural convergence. In all four cultural groups, the majority of (...)
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  • Not so fast. On some bold neuroscientific claims concerning human agency.Andrea Lavazza & Mario De Caro - 2009 - Neuroethics 3 (1):23-41.
    According to a widespread view, a complete explanatory reduction of all aspects of the human mind to the electro-chemical functioning of the brain is at hand and will certainly produce vast and positive cultural, political and social consequences. However, notwithstanding the astonishing advances generated by the neurosciences in recent years for our understanding of the mechanisms and functions of the brain, the application of these findings to the specific but crucial issue of human agency can be considered a “pre-paradigmatic science” (...)
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  • Temperament and intuition: A commentary on Feltz and Cokely.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Trevor Kvaran & Eddy Nahmias - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):351-355.
    In this paper, we examine Adam Feltz and Edward Cokely’s recent claim that “the personality trait extraversion predicts people’s intuitions about the relationship of determinism to free will and moral responsibility”. We will first present some criticisms of their work before briefly examining the results of a recent study of our own. We argue that while Feltz and Cokely have their finger on the pulse of an interesting and important issue, they have not established a robust and stable connection between (...)
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  • Brain Science and Free Will.Takayuki Suzuki - 2009 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 42 (2):13-28.
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  • The Ontology of Intentional Agency in Light of Neurobiological Determinism: Philosophy Meets Folk Psychology.Dhar Sharmistha - 2017 - Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (1):129-149.
    The moot point of the Western philosophical rhetoric about free will consists in examining whether the claim of authorship to intentional, deliberative actions fits into or is undermined by a one-way causal framework of determinism. Philosophers who think that reconciliation between the two is possible are known as metaphysical compatibilists. However, there are philosophers populating the other end of the spectrum, known as the metaphysical libertarians, who maintain that claim to intentional agency cannot be sustained unless it is assumed that (...)
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  • Neuroscientific challenges to free will and responsibility.Adina Roskies - 2006 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (9):419-423.
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  • Don’t panic: Self-authorship without obscure metaphysics1.Adina L. Roskies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):323-342.
    In this paper I attempt to respond to the worries of the source incompatibilist, and try to sketch a naturalistically plausible, compatibilist notion of self-authorship and control that I believe captures important aspects of the folk intuitions regarding freedom and responsibility. It is my hope to thus offer those moved by source incompatibilist worries a reason not to adopt what P.F. Strawson called “the obscure and panicky metaphysics of Libertarianism” (P. F. Strawson, 1982) or the panic-inducing moral austerity of the (...)
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  • Do we have a coherent set of intuitions about moral responsibility?Dana K. Nelkin - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):243–259.
    I believe that the data is both fascinating and instructive, but in this paper I will resist the conclusion that we must give up Invariantism, or, as I prefer to call it, Unificationism. In the process of examining the challenging data and responding to it, I will try to draw some larger lessons about how to use the kind of data being collected. First, I will provide a brief description of some influential theories of responsibility, and then explain the threat (...)
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  • Free will, moral responsibility, and mechanism: Experiments on folk intuitions.Eddy Nahmias, D. Justin Coates & Trevor Kvaran - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):214–242.
    In this paper we discuss studies that show that most people do not find determinism to be incompatible with free will and moral responsibility if determinism is described in a way that does not suggest mechanistic reductionism. However, if determinism is described in a way that suggests reductionism, that leads people to interpret it as threatening to free will and responsibility. We discuss the implications of these results for the philosophical debates about free will, moral responsibility, and determinism.
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  • The past and future of experimental philosophy.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):123 – 149.
    Experimental philosophy is the name for a recent movement whose participants use the methods of experimental psychology to probe the way people think about philosophical issues and then examine how the results of such studies bear on traditional philosophical debates. Given both the breadth of the research being carried out by experimental philosophers and the controversial nature of some of their central methodological assumptions, it is of no surprise that their work has recently come under attack. In this paper we (...)
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  • Positive Illusions, Perceived Control and the Free Will Debate.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Tatyana Matveeva - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):495-522.
    It is a common assumption among both philosophers and psychologists that having accurate beliefs about ourselves and the world around us is always the epistemic gold standard. However, there is gathering data from social psychology that suggest that illusions are quite prevalent in our everyday thinking and that some of these illusions may even be conducive to our overall well being. In this paper, we explore the relevance of these so-called 'positive illusions' to the free will debate. More specifically, we (...)
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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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  • Experimentální filosofie o otázce kompatibility svobodné vůle s determinismem.Kateřina Šimáčková - 2014 - Pro-Fil 2014 (S1):36-49.
    Jednou z důležitých otázek týkajících se svobodné vůle je tzv. otázka kompatibility. Táže se, zda jsou svobodná vůle a morální zodpovědnost slučitelné s platností determinismu. Existuje řada postojů k dané problematice. Na jedné straně se můžeme setkat s inkompatibilismem, který tvrdí, že svobodná vůle a morální zodpovědnost nejsou kompatibilní s kauzálním determinismem (ať již mluvíme o libertariánství či přísném determinismu), na straně druhé máme kompatibilismus, který se sloučením těchto dvou koncepcí nemá problém. Můj zájem je zaměřen pouze na současnou debatu (...)
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  • The Agency-Last Paradigm: Free Will as Moral Ether.Geoffrey S. Holtzman - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):435-458.
    I argue that free will is a nominal construct developed and deployed post hoc in an effort to provide cohesive narratives in support of a priori moral-judgmental dispositions. In a reversal of traditional course, I defend the view that there are no circumstances under which attributions of moral responsibility for an act can, should, or do depend on prior ascriptions of free will. Conversely, I claim that free will belief depends entirely on the apperceived possibility of moral responsibility. Orthodoxy dictates (...)
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  • Naturalising Austin.Renia Gasparatou - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (3):329-343.
    In this paper I will try to defend a quasi-naturalistic interpretation of J.L. Austin’s work. I will rely on P. Kitcher’s 1992 paper “The Naturalists Return” to compile four general criteria by which a philosopher can be called a naturalist. Then I will turn to Austin’s work and examine whether he meets these criteria. I will try to claim that versions of such naturalistic elements can be found in his work.
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  • Folk Intuitions, Science Fiction and Philosophy: Comment on Experimental Philosophy.Renia Gasparatou - 2010 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 10 (3-4):377-382.
    Some experimental philosophers imply that philosophers should endorse folk intuitions and even use them to advance philosophical theses. In this paper I will try to contrast experimental appeals to intuition with J. L. Austin’s, whom some experimentalists cite as a precursor of their method. I will suggest that Austin evokes ordinary intuitions in order to dismantle philosophical quests. He even suggests (a) that the appeal to ordinary intuitions of the folk can hardly prescribe answers to extraordinary circumstances and (b) that (...)
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  • Natural compatibilism versus natural incompatibilism: Back to the drawing board.Adam Feltz, Edward T. Cokely & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):1-23.
    In the free will literature, some compatibilists and some incompatibilists claim that their views best capture ordinary intuitions concerning free will and moral responsibility. One goal of researchers working in the field of experimental philosophy has been to probe ordinary intuitions in a controlled and systematic way to help resolve these kinds of intuitional stalemates. We contribute to this debate by presenting new data about folk intuitions concerning freedom and responsibility that correct for some of the shortcomings of previous studies. (...)
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  • An error theory for compatibilist intuitions.Adam Feltz & Melissa Millan - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (4):529-555.
    One debate in the experimental exploration of everyday judgments about free will is whether most people are compatibilists or incompatibilists. Some recent research suggests that many people who have incompatibilist intuitions are making a mistake; as such, they do not have genuine incompatibilist intuitions. Another worry is whether most people appropriately understand determinism or confuse it with similar, but different, notions such as fatalism. In five studies we demonstrate people distinguish determinism from fatalism. While people overall make this distinction, a (...)
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  • The Folk Probably do Think What you Think They Think.David Manley, Billy Dunaway & Anna Edmonds - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):421-441.
    Much of experimental philosophy consists of surveying 'folk' intuitions about philosophically relevant issues. Are the results of these surveys evidence that the relevant folk intuitions cannot be predicted from the ‘armchair’? We found that a solid majority of philosophers could predict even results claimed to be 'surprising'. But, we argue, this does not mean that such experiments have no role at all in philosophy.
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  • Can Determinism Give a Causal Explanation of Intentional Behaviour? Revisiting the Concepts of Determinism, Fatalism and Rational Agency.Sharmistha Dhar - 2015 - Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 32 (1):79-91.
    In this short piece of work, an attempt has been made to revisit the skepticism about free will, which has historically been directed to it due to certain mistaken assumptions about determinism and iron it out. Determinism is often conflated with fatalism, and this is where the skepticism about the possibility of agential autonomy and control begins. If fatalism is true with respect to volitional actions of agents, then there is no point in planning or choice making as fatalism dissolves (...)
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  • Responsibility and the brain sciences.Felipe De Brigard, Eric Mandelbaum & David Ripley - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):511-524.
    Some theorists think that the more we get to know about the neural underpinnings of our behaviors, the less likely we will be to hold people responsible for their actions. This intuition has driven some to suspect that as neuroscience gains insight into the neurological causes of our actions, people will cease to view others as morally responsible for their actions, thus creating a troubling quandary for our legal system. This paper provides empirical evidence against such intuitions. Particularly, our studies (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Unable or Unwilling to Exercise Self-control? The Impact of Neuroscience on Perceptions of Impulsive Offenders.Robert Blakey & Tobias P. Kremsmayer - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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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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  • Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy.Bob Doyle - 2011 - Cambridge, MA, USA: I-Phi Press.
    A sourcebook/textbook on the problem of free will and determinism. Contains a history of the free will problem, a taxonomy of current free will positions, the standard argument against free will, the physics, biology, and neuroscience of free will, the most plausible and practical solution of the problem, and reviews of the work of the leading determinist Ted Honderich, the leading libertarian Robert Kane, the well-known compatibilist Daniel Dennett, and the determinism-agnostic Alfred Mele.
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  • 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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  • When to defer to supermajority testimony — and when not.Christian List - 2014 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Essays in Collective Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 240-249.
    Pettit (2006) argues that deferring to majority testimony is not generally rational: it may lead to inconsistent beliefs. He suggests that “another ... approach will do better”: deferring to supermajority testimony. But this approach may also lead to inconsistencies. In this paper, I describe conditions under which deference to supermajority testimony ensures consistency, and conditions under which it does not. I also introduce the concept of “consistency of degree k”, which is weaker than full consistency by ruling out only “blatant” (...)
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  • 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: Essays on the Philosophy of Causation. 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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