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  1. Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
    An empirical study of people's intuitions about freedom of the will. We show that people tend to have compatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more concrete, emotional way but that they tend to have incompatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more abstract, cognitive way.
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  • Bringing Moral Responsibility Down to Earth.Adina L. Roskies & Shaun Nichols - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):371-388.
    Thought experiments have played a central role in philosophical methodology, largely as a means of elucidating the nature of our concepts and the implications of our theories.1 Particular attention is given to widely shared “folk” intuitions – the basic untutored intuitions that the layperson has about philosophical questions.2 The folk intuition is meant to underlie our core metaphysical concepts, and philosophical analysis is meant to explicate or sometimes refine these naïve concepts. Consistency with the deliverances of folk intuitions is a (...)
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  • Determinism, Self-Efficacy, and the Phenomenology of Free Will.Richard Holton - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):412-428.
    Some recent studies have suggested that belief in determinism tends to undermine moral motivation: subjects who are given determinist texts to read become more likely to cheat or engage in vindictive behaviour. One possible explanation is that people are natural incompatibilists, so that convincing them of determinism undermines their belief that they are morally responsible. I suggest a different explanation, and in doing so try to shed some light on the phenomenology of free will. I contend that one aspect of (...)
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  • Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner, Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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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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  • Experimental Philosophy on Free Will: An Error Theory for Incompatibilist Intuitions.Eddy Nahmias & Dylan Murray - 2010 - In Jesus Aguilar, Andrei Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Action. 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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  • Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Most people assume that, even though some degenerative or criminal behavior may be caused by influences beyond our control, ordinary human actions are not similarly generated, but rather are freely chosen, and we can be praiseworthy or blameworthy for them. A less popular and more radical claim is that factors beyond our control produce all of the actions we perform. It is this hard determinist stance that Derk Pereboom articulates in Living Without Free Will. Pereboom argues that our best scientific (...)
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  • Deep Trouble for the Deep Self.David Rose, Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):629 - 646.
    Chandra Sripada's (2010) Deep Self Concordance Account aims to explain various asymmetries in people's judgments of intentional action. On this account, people distinguish between an agent's active and deep self; attitude attributions to the agent's deep self are then presumed to play a causal role in people's intentionality ascriptions. Two judgments are supposed to play a role in these attributions?a judgment that specifies the attitude at issue and one that indicates that the attitude is robust (Sripada & Konrath, 2011). In (...)
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  • An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
    "This is an important book, and no one interested in issues which touch on the free will will want to ignore it."--Ethics. In this stimulating and thought-provoking book, the author defends the thesis that free will is incompatible with determinism. He disputes the view that determinism is necessary for moral responsbility. Finding no good reason for accepting determinism, but believing moral responsiblity to be indubitable, he concludes that determinism should be rejected.
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  • Free Will and the Scientific Vision.Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - In Edouard Machery & Elizabeth O'Neill (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. Routledge.
    A review of existing work in experimental philosophy on intuitions about free will. The paper argues that people ordinarily understand free human action, not as something that is caused by psychological states (beliefs, desires, etc.) but as something that completely transcends the normal causal order.
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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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  • A Compatibilist Account of the Epistemic Conditions on Rational Deliberation.Derk Pereboom - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):287 - 306.
    A traditional concern for determinists is that the epistemic conditions an agent must satisfy to deliberate about which of a number of distinct actions to perform threaten to conflict with a belief in determinism and its evident consequences. I develop an account of the sort that specifies two epistemic requirements, an epistemic openness condition and a belief in the efficacy of deliberation, whose upshot is that someone who believes in determinism and its evident consequences can deliberate without inconsistent beliefs. I (...)
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  • Responsibility, Luck, and Chance.Robert Kane - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):217-240.
    Consider the following principle: (LP) If an action is undetermined at a time t, then its happening rather than not happening at t would be a matter of chance or luck, and so it could not be a free and responsible action. This principle (which we may call the luck principle, or simply LP) is false, as I shall explain shortly. Yet it seems true.
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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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  • Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2002 - The Journal of Ethics 6 (3):305-309.
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  • Freedom and Belief.Galen Strawson - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
    On the whole, we continue to believe firmly both that we have free will and that we are morally responsible for what we do. Here, the author argues that there is a fundamental sense in which there is no such thing as free will or true moral responsibility (as ordinarily understood). Devoting the main body of his book to an attempt to explain why we continue to believe as we do, Strawson examines various aspects of the "cognitive phenomenology" of freedom--the (...)
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  • Phenomenal Abilities: Incompatibilism and the Experience of Agency.Oisín Deery, Matthew S. Bedke & Shaun Nichols - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 126–50.
    Incompatibilists often claim that we experience our agency as incompatible with determinism, while compatibilists challenge this claim. We report a series of experiments that focus on whether the experience of having an ability to do otherwise is taken to be at odds with determinism. We found that participants in our studies described their experience as incompatibilist whether the decision was (i) present-focused or retrospective, (ii) imagined or actual, (iii) morally salient or morally neutral. The only case in which participants did (...)
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  • Deliberative Alternatives.Dana K. Nelkin - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):215-240.
    There are powerful skeptical challenges to the idea that we are free. And yet, it seems simply impossible for us to shake the sense that we really are free. Some are convinced that the skeptical challenges are insurmountable and resign themselves to living under an illusion, while others argue that the challenges can be met. Even among those who believe that our sense of ourselves as free is at least roughly accurate, there are deep differences of opinion concerning what freedom (...)
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  • Free Will and Substance Dualism: The Real Scientific Threat to Free Will?Alfred Mele - 2014 - In W. Sinnot-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Vol. 4: Free Will and Responsibility. MIT Press.
    Mele uses survey methods of experimental philosophy to argue that folk notions of freedom and responsibility do not really require any dubious mind–body dualism. In his comment, Nadelhoffer questions Mele's interpretation of the experiments and adds contrary data of his own. Vargas then suggests that Mele overlooks yet another threat to free will—sourcehood. Mele replies by reinterpreting Nadelhoffer's data and rejecting Vargas’ claim that free will requires sourcehood.
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  • Relative Justice: Cultural Diversity, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility.Tamler Sommers - 2012 - Princeton University Press.
    [Publisher's description:] When can we be morally responsible for our behavior? Is it fair to blame people for actions that are determined by heredity and environment? Can we be responsible for the actions of relatives or members of our community? In this provocative book, Tamler Sommers concludes that there are no objectively correct answers to these questions. Drawing on research in anthropology, psychology, and a host of other disciplines, Sommers argues that cross-cultural variation raises serious problems for theories that propose (...)
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