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Free will

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018)

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  1. A Normative Approach to Artificial Moral Agency.Dorna Behdadi & Christian Munthe - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (2):195-218.
    This paper proposes a methodological redirection of the philosophical debate on artificial moral agency in view of increasingly pressing practical needs due to technological development. This “normative approach” suggests abandoning theoretical discussions about what conditions may hold for moral agency and to what extent these may be met by artificial entities such as AI systems and robots. Instead, the debate should focus on how and to what extent such entities should be included in human practices normally assuming moral agency and (...)
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  • The Notion of Free Will and its Ethical Relevance for Decision-Making Capacity.Tobias Zürcher, Bernice Elger & Manuel Trachsel - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):31.
    Obtaining informed consent from patients is a moral and legal duty and, thus, a key legitimation for medical treatment. The pivotal prerequisite for valid informed consent is decision-making capacity of the patient. Related to the question of whether and when consent should be morally and legally valid, there has been a long-lasting philosophical debate about freedom of will and the connection of freedom and responsibility. The scholarly discussion on decision-making capacity and its clinical evaluation does not sufficiently take into account (...)
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  • Freedom, Obligation, and Responsibility: Prospects for a Unifying Theory.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):106-125.
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  • Freedom of the Will and Consumption Restrictions.Ronald Paul Hill - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 164 (2):311-324.
    There is a long-standing interest in business ethics around the concept of free will, but study of its possible influence on consumer behavior is only in the nascent stage. This lack of research is particularly acute in certain consumption contexts, especially ones based on highly restricted access that appear to suggest abrogation of the will. In this paper, we offer a novel approach that involves reexamination of qualitative/ethnographic research that has chronicled consumption restrictions without consideration of potential implications for free (...)
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  • Masculinism in Twentieth-Century Literature: Dissidence and Dissemblance in André Gide’s The Immoralist, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, and Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater.Amanda Emanuel Smith - 2020 - Dissertation, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität
    Although masculinist literature may appear to be about masculinity as such or often explicit articulations of male carnality or even crudeness, it is actually about the use of masculinity, or gender performance, and prurience as rebellion; it is a means to undercut a sexually sublimating, artistically stifling system of values whose primary aim is to erect unseen, virtually undetectable, impediments to freedom. Masculinism is about man shackled by invisible but palpable chains, trying not only to break free, but to be (...)
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  • The P2P Simulation Hypothesis and Meta-Problem of Everything.Marcus Arvan - manuscript
    In a new paper, David. J. Chalmers examines eleven possible solutions to the meta-problem of consciousness, ‘the problem of explaining why we think that there is a problem of consciousness.’ The present paper argues that Chalmers overlooks an explanation that he has otherwise taken seriously, and which a number of philosophers, physicists, and computer scientists have taken seriously as well: the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation. This paper argues that a particular version of the simulation hypothesis (...)
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  • Determinism, Moral Responsibility and Retribution.Elizabeth Shaw & Robert Blakey - 2020 - 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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  • Understanding Moral Responsibility Within the Context of the Free Will Debate.Stephen G. Morris - 2012 - Florida Philosophical Review 12 (1):68-82.
    Since philosophers generally agree that free will is understood partly by the relation it holds to moral responsibility, achieving a better understanding of free will requires that we have a clear idea of the sort of moral responsibility to which free will is thought to be connected. I argue that examining the substantive differences that exist between compatibilists and incompatibilists reveals a specific notion of moral responsibility that is best suited for philosophical debates regarding free will. Upon examination, it becomes (...)
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  • Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited.Peter Schulte - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):669-685.
    The compatibilism debate revolves around the question whether moral responsibility and free will are compatible with determinism. Prima facie, this seems to be a substantial issue. But according to the triviality objection, the disagreement is merely verbal: compatibilists and incompatibilists, it is maintained, are talking past each other, since they use the terms “free will” and “moral responsibility” in different senses. In this paper I argue, first, that the triviality objection is indeed a formidable one and that the standard replies (...)
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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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  • Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    In this thesis, I will defend a new kind of compatibilist account of free action, indirect conscious control compatibilism (or indirect compatibilism for short), and argue that some of our actions are free according to it. My argument has three components, and involves the development of a brand new tool for experimental philosophy, and the use of cognitive neuroscience. The first component of the argument shows that compatibilism (of some kind) is a conceptual truth. Contrary to the current orthodoxy in (...)
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  • Taking Responsibility for Ourselves: A Kierkegaardian Account of the Freedom-Relevant Conditions Necessary for the Cultivation of Character.Paul E. Carron - 2011 - Dissertation, Baylor University
    What are the freedom-relevant conditions necessary for someone to be a morally responsible person? I examine several key authors beginning with Harry Frankfurt that have contributed to this debate in recent years, and then look back to the writings or Søren Kierkegaard to provide a solution to the debate. In this project I investigate the claims of semi-compatibilism and argue that while its proponents have identified a fundamental question concerning free will and moral responsibility—namely, that the agential properties necessary for (...)
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  • May Conscious Mind Give a “Scientific Definition” of Consciousness?Bignetti Enrico - 2019 - Open Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):439-451.
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  • Free Will and Mental Disorder: Exploring the Relationship.Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):429-443.
    A link between mental disorder and freedom is clearly present in the introduction of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It mentions “an important loss of freedom” as one of the possible defining features of mental disorder. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how “an important loss of freedom” should be understood. In order to get a clearer view on the relationship between mental disorder and (a loss of) freedom, in this article, I will explore (...)
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  • Enhancing Responsibility: Directions for an Interdisciplinary Investigation.Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
    [Note: articles 1-5 are in English; Intro, Discussion, and Conclusion are in Portuguese.] Responsibility practices that are part of our daily lives involve, among other things, standards about how one should praise, blame, or punish people for their actions, as well as particular acts that follow those standards to a greater or lesser extent. A classical question in philosophy asks whether human beings can actually be morally responsible for what they do. This dissertation argues that addressing this classical question is (...)
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  • A Stochastic Process Model for Free Agency Under Indeterminism.Thomas Müller & Hans J. Briegel - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):219-252.
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  • The Idea of Will.M. M. Dorenbosch Drs - unknown
    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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  • The Free Will Impasse.Giacomo Goldoni - 2017 - Flusser Studies 23 (1).
    This essay discusses the concepts of entropy and negentropy used by Vilém Flusser in his philosophy of photography to delineate connections between science and art. If the act of finding order within chaos has always been a quality specific to human beings, the overwhelming role machines hold in our society casts shadows on human agency. Since the Enlightenment, humankind has carried on a regimentation of nature with the goal of finding a way of theorizing everything within it. In the same (...)
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  • Robot Sex and Consent: Is Consent to Sex Between a Robot and a Human Conceivable, Possible, and Desirable?Lily Frank & Sven Nyholm - 2017 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 25 (3):305-323.
    The development of highly humanoid sex robots is on the technological horizon. If sex robots are integrated into the legal community as “electronic persons”, the issue of sexual consent arises, which is essential for legally and morally permissible sexual relations between human persons. This paper explores whether it is conceivable, possible, and desirable that humanoid robots should be designed such that they are capable of consenting to sex. We consider reasons for giving both “no” and “yes” answers to these three (...)
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  • Metaphysical Emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
    Motivated by the seeming structure of the sciences, metaphysical emergence combines broadly synchronic dependence coupled with some degree of ontological and causal autonomy. Reflecting the diverse, frequently incompatible interpretations of the notions of dependence and autonomy, however, accounts of emergence diverge into a bewildering variety. Here I argue that much of this apparent diversity is superficial. I first argue, by attention to the problem of higher-level causation, that two and only two strategies for addressing this problem accommodate the genuine emergence (...)
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  • Epicureanism.Thomas A. Blackson - forthcoming - In Tom Angier (ed.), The History of Evil in Antiquity: 2000 Bce to 450 Ce. Routledge.
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  • Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):235-252.
    I argue that no one knows whether there is free will.
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  • Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment.Eddy Nahmias - 2016 - In David Schmidtz & Carmen Pavel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Freedom. Oxford University Press.
    I offer analyses of free will in terms of a complex set of psychological capacities agents possess to varying degrees and have varying degrees of opportunities to exercise effectively, focusing on the under-appreciated but essential capacities for imagination. For an agent to have free will is for her to possess the psychological capacities to make decisions—to imagine alternatives for action, to select among them, and to control her actions accordingly—such that she is the author of her actions and can deserve (...)
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  • Being and Time, §15: Around-for References and the Content of Mundane Concern.Howard Damian Kelly - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Manchester
    This thesis articulates a novel interpretation of Heidegger’s explication of the being (Seins) of gear (Zeugs) in §15 of his masterwork Being and Time (1927/2006) and develops and applies the position attributed to Heidegger to explain three phenomena of unreflective action discussed in recent literature and articulate a partial Heideggerian ecological metaphysics. Since §15 of BT explicates the being of gear, Part 1 expounds Heidegger’s concept of the ‘being’ (Seins) of beings (Seienden) and two issues raised in the ‘preliminary methodological (...)
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  • 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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  • The Phenomenology of Choice.Emmanuel Baierlé - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Fribourg
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  • Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):310-331.
    Free will, if such there be, involves free choosing: the ability to mentally choose an outcome, where the outcome is 'free' in being, in some substantive sense, up to the agent of the choice. As such, it is clear that the questions of how to understand free will and mental causation are connected, for events of seemingly free choosing are mental events that appear to be efficacious vis-a-vis other mental events as well as physical events. Nonetheless, the free will and (...)
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  • بررسی انتقادی معنا و امکان وقوع تحول پارادایمی از طریق قبول نوخاسته‌گرایی.سید حسن حسینی & مسعود طوسی سعیدی - 2020 - پژوهشنامه فلسفه دین 17 (2):27-56.
    نوخاسته‌گرایان مشهوری نظیر نانسی مورفی و پاول دیویس مدعی‌اند قبول برخی دیدگاه‌های نوخاسته‌گرایانه وقوع تحولی اساسی در پارادایم علمی حاکم را در پی دارد. در این مقاله، نخست با واکاوی مضامین اصلی مربوط به مواضعی نظیر طبیعت‌گرایی، تقلیل‌گرایی، علم‌گرایی و نظیر اینها، تحلیلی کلی از مؤلفه‌های پارادایم علمی ارائه می‌شود. در ضمن این تحلیل، مؤلفه‌های مختلف مربوط به پارادایم علمی تبیین شده، نسبت این مؤلفه‌ها با یکدیگر بررسی می‌شود. پس از آن، به بررسی دیدگاه‌های نوخاسته‌گرایانه از هر دو قسم نوخاسته‌گرایی (...)
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  • A Strawsonian Look at Desert.Adina L. Roskies & Bertram F. Malle - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-20.
    P.F. Strawson famously argued that reactive attitudes and ordinary moral practices justify moral assessments of blame, praise, and punishment. Here we consider whether Strawson's approach can illuminate the concept of desert. After reviewing standard attempts to analyze this concept and finding them lacking, we suggest that to deserve something is to justifiably receive a moral assessment in light of certain criteria – in particular, eligibility criteria and assignment criteria. Strawson's analysis of the ordinary attitudes and practices of moral assessment hints (...)
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  • Agent-Causation and Agential Control.Markus Ernst Schlosser - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):3-21.
    According to what I call the reductive standard-causal theory of agency, the exercise of an agent's power to act can be reduced to the causal efficacy of agent-involving mental states and events. According to a non-reductive agent-causal theory, an agent's power to act is irreducible and primitive. Agent-causal theories have been dismissed on the ground that they presuppose a very contentious notion of causation, namely substance-causation. In this paper I will assume, with the proponents of the agent-causal approach, that substance-causation (...)
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  • The Principle of Alternate Possibilities and a Defeated Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):179 – 201.
    Famed so-called 'Frankfurt-type examples' have been invoked to cast doubt on the principle that a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. Many who disagree that the examples are successful in this respect argue that these examples succumb to a deadly dilemma. I uncover and assess libertarian assumptions upon which the 'dilemma objection' is based. On exposing these assumptions, it becomes clear that various sorts of libertarian are no longer entitled to (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Foundationalism.Stephen Kershnar - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):381-402.
    If an individual is morally responsible, then there is a responsibility-foundation that makes him morally responsible, but there is no responsibility-foundation that makes him responsible. This rested on the notion that if there were a responsibility-foundation, it would be either an ungrounded choice or an ungrounded character state and that neither can serve as the foundation. The paper then considered three types of objections. First, moral responsibility does not require a responsibility-foundation. Second, a character state can serve as the foundation. (...)
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  • Perception of Free Will: The Perspective of Incarcerated Adolescent and Adult Offenders. [REVIEW]Kimberly R. Laurene, Richard F. Rakos, Marie S. Tisak, Allyson L. Robichaud & Michael Horvath - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):723-740.
    The existence of free will has been both an enduring presumption of Western culture and a subject for debate across disciplines for millennia. However, little empirical evidence exists to support the almost unquestioned assumption that, in general, Westerners endorse the existence of free will. The few studies that measure belief in free will have methodological problems that likely resulted in underestimating the true extent of belief. Recently, Rakos et al. (Behavior and Social Issues 17:20–39, 2008 ) found a stronger endorsement (...)
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  • A Reason To Be Free: Operationalizing ‘Free Action’.Giulio Mecacci & Pim Haselager - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):327-334.
    Recent Libet-style experiments are of limited relevance to the debate about free action and free will, and should be understood as investigations of arbitrary actions or guesses. In Libet-style experiments, the concept of 'free action' is commonly taken to refer to a 'self-initiated voluntary act', where the self prompts an action without being prompted. However, this idea is based on the problematic assumption that the conscious self needs to be free from every constraint in order to be actually free. We (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Importance of the Compatibility Question: Comments on Mark Balaguer’s Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem.Michael McKenna - 2012 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-12.
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  • Belief Control and Intentionality.Matthias Steup - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):145-163.
    In this paper, I argue that the rejection of doxastic voluntarism is not as straightforward as its opponents take it to be. I begin with a critical examination of William Alston's defense of involuntarism and then focus on the question of whether belief is intentional.
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  • Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
    This paper provides a taxonomy of cosmological arguments and givesgeneral reasons for thinking that arguments that belong to a given category do not succeed.
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  • How Has Quantum Physics Affected the Free Will Debate?Neer Singhal - manuscript
    This paper discusses the extent to which advances in quantum physics can affect ideas of free will and determinism. It questions whether arguments that conclude the existence of free will from quantum physics are as valid as they seem. -/- The paper discusses the validity of Searle’s philosophy of mind, Robert Kane’s parallel processing, and Ted Honderich’s near-determinism, as well as dealing with chaos theory, the relationship between ‘randomness’ and ‘unpredictability,’ and Bell’s theorem, discussing how they can be used to (...)
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  • Mistaking Randomness for Free Will.Jeffrey P. Ebert & Daniel M. Wegner - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):965-971.
    Belief in free will is widespread. The present research considered one reason why people may believe that actions are freely chosen rather than determined: they attribute randomness in behavior to free will. Experiment 1 found that participants who were prompted to perform a random sequence of actions experienced their behavior as more freely chosen than those who were prompted to perform a deterministic sequence. Likewise, Experiment 2 found that, all else equal, the behavior of animated agents was perceived to be (...)
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  • Compatibilism.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Personal Autonomy.Sarah Buss - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To be autonomous is to be a law to oneself; autonomous agents are self-governing agents. Most of us want to be autonomous because we want to be accountable for what we do, and because it seems that if we are not the ones calling the shots, then we cannot be accountable. More importantly, perhaps, the value of autonomy is tied to the value of self-integration. We don't want to be alien to, or at war with, ourselves; and it seems that (...)
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