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  1. Precis of the illusion of conscious will (and commentaries and reply).Daniel M. Wegner - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):649-659.
    The experience of conscious will is the feeling that we are doing things. This feeling occurs for many things we do, conveying to us again and again the sense that we consciously cause our actions. But the feeling may not be a true reading of what is happening in our minds, brains, and bodies as our actions are produced. The feeling of conscious will can be fooled. This happens in clinical disorders such as alien hand syndrome, dissociative identity disorder, and (...)
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  • Précis of the illusion of conscious will.Daniel M. Wegner - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):649-659.
    The experience of conscious will is the feeling that we are doing things. This feeling occurs for many things we do, conveying to us again and again the sense that we consciously cause our actions. But the feeling may not be a true reading of what is happening in our minds, brains, and bodies as our actions are produced. The feeling of conscious will can be fooled. This happens in clinical disorders such as alien hand syndrome, dissociative identity disorder, and (...)
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  • Soft libertarianism and Frankfurt-style scenarios.Alfred R. Mele - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):123-41.
    This paper develops a soft-libertarian response to Frankfurt-style cases and to the threat that such cases apparently pose to any brand of libertarianism.
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  • Soft Libertarianism and Frankfurt-Style Scenarios.Alfred R. Mele - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):123-141.
    Traditional libertarians about freedom of choice and action and about moral responsibility are hard-line incompatibilists. They claim that these freedoms (which they believe to be possessed by at least some human beings) are incompatible with determinism, and they take the same view of moral responsibility. I call them hard libertarians. A softer line is available to theorists who have libertarian sympathies. A theorist may leave it open that freedom of choice and action and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism but (...)
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  • Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
    Mele's ultimate purpose in this book is to help readers think more clearly about free will. He identifies and makes vivid the most important conceptual obstacles to justified belief in the existence of free will and meets them head on. Mele clarifies the central issues in the philosophical debate about free will and moral responsibility, criticizes various influential contemporary theories about free will, and develops two overlapping conceptions of free will--one for readers who are convinced that free will is incompatible (...)
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  • Do we have free will?Benjamin W. Libet - 2002 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):551--564.
    I have taken an experimental approach to this question. Freely voluntary acts are preceded by a specific electrical change in the brain that begins 550 ms before the act. Human subjects became aware of intention to act 350-400 ms after RP starts, but 200 ms. before the motor act. The volitional process is therefore initiated unconsciously. But the conscious function could still control the outcome; it can veto the act. Free will is therefore not excluded. These findings put constraints on (...)
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  • Do we have free will?Benjamin W. Libet - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):47-57.
    I have taken an experimental approach to this question. Freely voluntary acts are preceded by a specific electrical change in the brain that begins 550 ms before the act. Human subjects became aware of intention to act 350-400 ms after RP starts, but 200 ms. before the motor act. The volitional process is therefore initiated unconsciously. But the conscious function could still control the outcome; it can veto the act. Free will is therefore not excluded. These findings put constraints on (...)
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  • Free will, chance, and mystery.Laura Ekstrom - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (2):153-80.
    This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall of the premises of his argument for (...)
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  • Free Will, Chance, and Mystery.L. Ekstrom - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (2):153-180.
    This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen's recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term ‘chance’ I thenargue that van Inwagen's case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term ‘change’ on whichall of the premises of his argument for (...)
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  • Ifs, cans, and free will: The issues.Bernard Berofsky - 2001 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • Ifs, Cans, and Free Will: The Issues.Bernard Berofsky - 2001 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • Free will, praise and blame.J. J. C. Smart - 1961 - Mind 70 (279):291-306.
    In this article I try to refute the so-called "libertarian" theory of free will, and to examine how our conclusion ought to modify our common attitudes of praise and blame. In attacking the libertarian view, I shall try to show that it cannot be consistently stated. That is, my dscussion will be an "analytic-philosophic" one. I shall neglect what I think is in practice an equally powerful method of attack on the libertarian: a challenge to state his theory in such (...)
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  • Free Will & Empirical Arguments for Epiphenomenalism.Nadine Elzein - 2019 - In Peter Róna & László Zsolnai (eds.), Agency and Causal Explanation in Economics. Virtues and Economics, vol 5. Springer. pp. 3-20.
    While philosophers have worried about mental causation for centuries, worries about the causal relevance of conscious phenomena are also increasingly featuring in neuroscientific literature. Neuroscientists have regarded the threat of epiphenomenalism as interesting primarily because they have supposed that it entails free will scepticism. However, the steps that get us from a premise about the causal irrelevance of conscious phenomena to a conclusion about free will are not entirely clear. In fact, if we examine popular philosophical accounts of free will, (...)
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  • A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1969 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books.
    One of Hume's most well-known works and a masterpiece of philosophy, A Treatise of Human Nature is indubitably worth taking the time to read.
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  • Précis of Thinking about Consciousness.David Papineau - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):143-143.
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  • Legal Positivism: 5½ Myths.John Gardner - 2001 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 46 (1):199-227.
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  • Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1982 - In Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • Are We Free to Break the Laws?David Lewis - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • Free Will, Praise and Blame.J. J. C. Smart - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • Human Freedom and the Self.Roderick Chisholm - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
    This is the text of The Lindley Lecture for 1964, given by Roderick M. Chisholm (1916-1999), an American philosopher.
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  • Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism.Robert Kane - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • The Illusion of Conscious Will.Daniel M. Wegner - 2002 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
    In this book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the relation of consciousness, the will, and our intentional and voluntary actions. Wegner claims that our experience and common sense view according to which we can influence our behavior roughly the way we experience that we do it is an illusion.
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  • Asymmetrical freedom.Susan Wolf - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (March):151-66.
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  • Responsibility in Context.Ann Whittle - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):163-183.
    Some have argued that our intuitive reactions to a number of cases of moral responsibility can only be preserved at the expense of a unified account of moral responsibility for acts and omissions. I argue against this conclusion, proposing that a plausible condition on responsibility, the Causal Condition can, when properly elaborated, justify the relevant intuitive data.
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  • Free agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
    In the subsequent pages, I want to develop a distinction between wanting and valuing which will enable the familiar view of freedom to make sense of the notion of an unfree action. The contention will be that, in the case of actions that are unfree, the agent is unable to get what he most wants, or values, and this inability is due to his own "motivational system." In this case the obstruction to the action that he most wants to do (...)
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  • Free Will Demystified: A Dispositional Account.Kadri Vihvelin - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1-2):427-450.
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  • How to think about the free will/determinism problem.Kadri Vihvelin - 2011 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving nature at its joints: natural kinds in metaphysics and science. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. pp. 314--340.
    This chapter proposes an approach to the free will/determinism problem that addresses the issue of whether the apparent conflict between free will and determinism is real or not. According to common sense, man has free will; when a person makes a choice, he or she indeed has the choice thought to be had. However, who is to say that the choices one makes are not predetermined? For all we know, determinism might be true. Common sense either is not aware of, (...)
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  • The Principle of Causal Exclusion Does Not Make Sense.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (1):89-95.
    The principle of causal exclusion is based on two distinct causal notions: causal sufficiency and causation simpliciter. The principle suggests that the former has the power to exclude the latter. But that is problematic since it would amount to claiming that sufficient causes alone can take the roles of causes simpliciter. Moreover, the principle also assumes that events can sometimes have both sufficient causes and causes simpliciter. This assumption is in conflict with the first part of the principle that claims (...)
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  • Action and purpose.Richard Taylor - 1973 - New York,: Humanities Press.
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  • Evolution, population thinking, and essentialism.Elliott Sober - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (3):350-383.
    Ernst Mayr has argued that Darwinian theory discredited essentialist modes of thought and replaced them with what he has called "population thinking". In this paper, I characterize essentialism as embodying a certain conception of how variation in nature is to be explained, and show how this conception was undermined by evolutionary theory. The Darwinian doctrine of evolutionary gradualism makes it impossible to say exactly where one species ends and another begins; such line-drawing problems are often taken to be the decisive (...)
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  • In defense of the use of commonsense psychology in the criminal law.Katrina L. Sifferd - 2006 - Law and Philosophy 25 (6):571 - 612.
    The criminal law depends upon 'commonsense' or 'folk' psychology, a seemingly innate theory used by all normal human beings as a means to understand and predict other humans' behavior. This paper discusses two major types of arguments that commonsense psychology is not a true theory of human behavior, and thus should be eliminated and replaced. The paper argues that eliminitivist projects fail to provide evidence that commonsense psychology is a false theory, and argues that there is no need to seek (...)
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  • Fragen der Ethik.Moritz Schlick - 1932 - The Monist 42:158.
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  • Causation and responsibility.Carolina Sartorio - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (5):749–765.
    In this article I examine the relation between causation and moral responsibility. I distinguish four possible views about that relation. One is the standard view: the view that an agent's moral responsibility for an outcome requires, and is grounded in, the agent's causal responsibility for it. I discuss several challenges to the standard view, which motivate the three remaining views. The final view – the view I argue for – is that causation is the vehicle of transmission of moral responsibility. (...)
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  • Causation, exclusion, and the special sciences.Panu Raatikainen - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
    The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such.
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  • The Five Marks of the Mental.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
    The mental realm seems different to the physical realm; the mental is thought to be dependent on, yet distinct from the physical. But how, exactly, are the two realms supposed to be different, and what, exactly, creates the seemingly insurmountable juxtaposition between the mental and the physical? This review identifies and discusses five marks of the mental, features that set characteristically mental phenomena apart from the characteristically physical phenomena. These five marks (intentionality, consciousness, free will, teleology, and normativity) are not (...)
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  • Mental Causation via Neuroprosthetics? A Critical Analysis.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2018 - Synthese (12):5159-5174.
    Some recent arguments defending the genuine causal efficacy of the mental have been relying on empirical research on neuroprosthetics. This essay presents a critical analysis of these arguments. The problem of mental causation, and the basic idea and results of neuroprosthetics are reviewed. It is shown how appealing to the research on neuroprosthetics can be interpreted to give support to the idea of mental causation. However, it does so only in a rather deflationary sense: by holding the mental identical with (...)
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  • Interventions on causal exclusion.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):255-263.
    Two strains of interventionist responses to the causal exclusion argument are reviewed and critically assessed. On the one hand, one can argue that manipulating supervenient mental states is an effective strategy for manipulating the subvenient physical states, and hence should count as genuine causes to the subvenient physical states. But unless the supervenient and subvenient states manifest some difference in their manipulability conditions, there is no reason to treat them as distinct, which in turn goes against the basic assumption of (...)
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  • Does the Interventionist Notion of Causation Deliver Us from the Fear of Epiphenomenalism?Tuomas K. Pernu - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):157-172.
    This article reviews the causal exclusion argument and confronts it with some recently proposed refutations based on the interventionist account of causation. I first show that there are several technical and interpretative difficulties in applying the interventionist account to the exclusion issue. Different ways of accommodating the two to one another are considered and all are shown to leave the issue without a fully satisfactory resolution. Lastly, I argue that, on the most consistent construal, the interventionist approach can provide grounds (...)
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  • Causal Exclusion and Multiple Realizations.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2014 - Topoi 33 (2):525-530.
    A critical analysis of recent interventionist responses to the causal exclusion problem is presented. It is argued that the response can indeed offer a solution to the problem, but one that is based on renouncing the multiple realizability thesis. The account amounts to the rejection of nonreductive physicalism and would thus be unacceptable to many. It is further shown that if the multiple realizability thesis is brought back in and conjoined with the interventionist notion of causation, inter-level causation is ruled (...)
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  • Causal Exclusion and Downward Counterfactuals.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):1031-1049.
    One of the main line of responses to the infamous causal exclusion problem has been based on the counterfactual account of causation. However, arguments have begun to surface to the effect that the counterfactual theory is in fact ill-equipped to solve the exclusion problem due to its commitment to downward causation. This argumentation is here critically analysed. An analysis of counterfactual dependence is presented and it is shown that if the semantics of counterfactuals is taken into account carefully enough, the (...)
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  • Philosophical Naturalism. Philosophical Naturalism.David Papineau - 1993 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
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  • Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.
    First published in 1903, this volume revolutionized philosophy and forever altered the direction of ethical studies. A philosopher’s philosopher, G. E. Moore was the idol of the Bloomsbury group, and Lytton Strachey declared that Principia Ethica marked the rebirth of the Age of Reason. This work clarifies some of moral philosophy’s most common confusions and redefines the science’s terminology. Six chapters explore: the subject matter of ethics, naturalistic ethics, hedonism, metaphysical ethics, ethics in relation to conduct, and the ideal. Moore's (...)
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  • Nonreductive physicalism and the limits of the exclusion principle.Christian List & Peter Menzies - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (9):475-502.
    It is often argued that higher-level special-science properties cannot be causally efficacious since the lower-level physical properties on which they supervene are doing all the causal work. This claim is usually derived from an exclusion principle stating that if a higher-level property F supervenes on a physical property F* that is causally sufficient for a property G, then F cannot cause G. We employ an account of causation as difference-making to show that the truth or falsity of this principle is (...)
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  • The Works of Agency: On Human Action, Will and Freedom.Hugh McCann - 1998 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
    In these essays, Hugh J. McCann develops a unified perspective on human action. Written over a period of twenty-five years, the essays provide a comprehensive survey of the major topics in contemporary action theory. In four sections, the book addresses the ontology of action ; the foundations of action ; intention, will, and freedom; and practical rationality. McCann works out a compromise between competing perspectives on the individuation of action ; explores the foundations of action and defends a volitional theory; (...)
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  • Why Free Will is Real.Christian List - 2019 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
    Philosophers have argued about the nature and the very existence of free will for centuries. Today, many scientists and scientifically minded commentators are skeptical that it exists, especially when it is understood to require the ability to choose between alternative possibilities. If the laws of physics govern everything that happens, they argue, then how can our choices be free? Believers in free will must be misled by habit, sentiment, or religious doctrine. Why Free Will Is Real defies scientific orthodoxy and (...)
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  • Free Will, Determinism, and the Possibility of Doing Otherwise.Christian List - 2014 - Noûs 48 (1):156-178.
    I argue that free will and determinism are compatible, even when we take free will to require the ability to do otherwise and even when we interpret that ability modally, as the possibility of doing otherwise, and not just conditionally or dispositionally. My argument draws on a distinction between physical and agential possibility. Although in a deterministic world only one future sequence of events is physically possible for each state of the world, the more coarsely defined state of an agent (...)
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  • Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action.Benjamin Libet - 1985 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (4):529-66.
    Voluntary acts are preceded by electrophysiological (RPs). With spontaneous acts involving no preplanning, the main negative RP shift begins at about200 ms. Control experiments, in which a skin stimulus was timed (S), helped evaluate each subject's error in reporting the clock times for awareness of any perceived event.
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  • Are we free to break the laws?David Lewis - 1981 - Theoria 47 (3):113-21.
    I insist that I was able to raise my hand, and I acknowledge that a law would have been broken had I done so, but I deny that I am therefore able to break a law. To uphold my instance of soft determinism, I need not claim any incredible powers. To uphold the compatibilism that I actually believe, I need not claim that such powers are even possible. My incompatibilist opponent is a creature of fiction, but he has his prototypes (...)
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  • Dissolving the Puzzle of Resultant Moral Luck.Neil Levy - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):127-139.
    The puzzle of resultant moral luck arises when we are disposed to think that an agent who caused a harm deserves to be blamed more than an otherwise identical agent who did not. One popular perspective on resultant moral luck explains our dispositions to produce different judgments with regard to the agents who feature in these cases as a product not of what they genuinely deserve but of our epistemic situation. On this account, there is no genuine resultant moral luck; (...)
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  • Bad Luck Once Again.Neil Levy - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):749-754.
    In a recent article in this journal, Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe sketch an account of indeterminist free will designed to avoid the luck objection that has been wielded to such effect against event‐causal libertarianism. They argue that if decision‐making is an indeterministic process and not an event or series of events, the luck objection will fail. I argue that they are wrong: the luck objection is equally successful against their account as against existing event‐causal libertarianisms. Like the event‐causal libertarianism (...)
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