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  1. Compatibilism and Incompatibilism in Social Cognition.John Turri - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3):403-424.
    Compatibilism is the view that determinism is compatible with acting freely and being morally responsible. Incompatibilism is the opposite view. It is often claimed that compatibilism or incompatibilism is a natural part of ordinary social cognition. That is, it is often claimed that patterns in our everyday social judgments reveal an implicit commitment to either compatibilism or incompatibilism. This paper reports five experiments designed to identify such patterns. The results support a nuanced hybrid account: The central tendencies in ordinary social (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe - 2008 - In Joshua Michael Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oup Usa.
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  • A Comparison of American and Nepalese Children's Concepts of Freedom of Choice and Social Constraint.Nadia Chernyak, Tamar Kushnir, Katherine M. Sullivan & Qi Wang - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (7):1343-1355.
    Recent work has shown that preschool-aged children and adults understand freedom of choice regardless of culture, but that adults across cultures differ in perceiving social obligations as constraints on action. To investigate the development of these cultural differences and universalities, we interviewed school-aged children (4–11) in Nepal and the United States regarding beliefs about people's freedom of choice and constraint to follow preferences, perform impossible acts, and break social obligations. Children across cultures and ages universally endorsed the choice to follow (...)
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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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  • Choice, moral responsibility and alternative possibilities.Vivienne Brown - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):265-288.
    Is choice necessary for moral responsibility? And does choice imply alternative possibilities of some significant sort? This paper will relate these questions to the argument initiated by Harry Frankfurt that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility, and to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's extension of that argument in terms of guidance control in a causally determined world. I argue that attending to Frankfurt's core conceptual distinction between the circumstances that make an action unavoidable and those that bring (...)
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  • Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action.Myles Brand - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (1):115.
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  • What Makes a Manipulated Agent Unfree?Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):563-593.
    Incompatibilists and compatibilists (mostly) agree that there is a strong intuition that a manipulated agent, i.e., an agent who is the victim of methods such as indoctrination or brainwashing, is unfree. They differ however on why exactly this intuition arises. Incompatibilists claim our intuitions in these cases are sensitive to the manipulated agent’s lack of ultimate control over her actions, while many compatibilists argue that our intuitions respond to damage inflicted by manipulation on the agent’s psychological and volitional capacities. Much (...)
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  • Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.
    This essay challenges the widely accepted principle that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. The author considers situations in which there are sufficient conditions for a certain choice or action to be performed by someone, So that it is impossible for the person to choose or to do otherwise, But in which these conditions do not in any way bring it about that the person chooses or acts as he (...)
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  • Identification, situational constraint, and social cognition: Studies in the attribution of moral responsibility.Robert L. Woolfolk, John M. Doris & John M. Darley - 2006 - Cognition 100 (2):283-301.
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  • Identification, situational constraint, and social cognition: Studies in the attribution of moral responsibility.Robert L. Woolfolk, John M. Doris & John M. Darley - 2006 - Cognition 100 (2):283-301.
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  • An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: 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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  • An Essay on Free Will by Peter van Inwagen. [REVIEW]Michael Slote - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (6):327-330.
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  • Free will and scientifiphicalism.Peter Unger - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):1-25.
    It’s been agreed for decades that not only does Determinism pose a big problem for our choosing from available alternatives, but its denial seems to pose a bit of a problem, too. It’s argued here that only Determinism, and not its denial, means no real choice for us.But, what explains the appeal of the thought that, where things aren’t fully determined, to that extent they’re just a matter of chance? It's the dominance of metaphysical suppositions that, together, comprise Scientiphicalism: Wholly (...)
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  • Neuroscience, Choice, and the Free Will Debate.Jason Shepard & Shane Reuter - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 3 (3):7-11.
    A number of scientists have recently argued that neuroscience provides strong evidence against the requirements of the folk notion of free will. In one such line of argumentation, it is claimed that choice is required for free will, and neuroscience is showing that people do not make choices. In this article, we argue that this no-choice line of argumentation relies on a specific conception of choice. We then provide evidence that people do not share the conception of choice required of (...)
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  • The folk psychology of free will: Fits and starts.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
    According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of (...)
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  • The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
    According to agent‐causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent‐causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent‐causation develops from a prior notion of (...)
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  • 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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  • Why 'Willusionism' Leads to 'Bad Results': Comments on Baumeister, Crescioni, and Alquist.Eddy Nahmias - 2009 - Neuroethics 4 (1):17-24.
    Drawing on results discussed in the target article by Baumeister et al. (1), I argue that the claim that the modern mind sciences are discovering that free will is an illusion ( willusionism ) is ambiguous and depends on how ordinary people understand free will. When interpreted in ways that the evidence does not justify, the willusionist claim can lead to ‘bad results.’ That is, telling people that free will is an illusion leads people to cheat more, help less, and (...)
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  • It’s OK if ‘my brain made me do it’: People’s intuitions about free will and neuroscientific prediction.Eddy Nahmias, Jason Shepard & Shane Reuter - 2014 - Cognition 133 (2):502-516.
    In recent years, a number of prominent scientists have argued that free will is an illusion, appealing to evidence demonstrating that information about brain activity can be used to predict behavior before people are aware of having made a decision. These scientists claim that the possibility of perfect prediction based on neural information challenges the ordinary understanding of free will. In this paper we provide evidence suggesting that most people do not view the possibility of neuro-prediction as a threat to (...)
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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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  • From Uncaused Will to Conscious Choice: The Need to Study, Not Speculate About People’s Folk Concept of Free Will.Andrew E. Monroe & Bertram F. Malle - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):211-224.
    People’s concept of free will is often assumed to be incompatible with the deterministic, scientific model of the universe. Indeed, many scholars treat the folk concept of free will as assuming a special form of nondeterministic causation, possibly the notion of uncaused causes. However, little work to date has directly probed individuals’ beliefs about what it means to have free will. The present studies sought to reconstruct this folk concept of free will by asking people to define the concept (Study (...)
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  • Bringing free will down to Earth: People’s psychological concept of free will and its role in moral judgment.Andrew E. Monroe, Kyle D. Dillon & Bertram F. Malle - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 27:100-108.
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  • Frankfurt and the folk: An experimental investigation of Frankfurt-style cases.Jason S. Miller & Adam Feltz - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (2):401-414.
    An important disagreement in contemporary debates about free will hinges on whether an agent must have alternative possibilities to be morally responsible. Many assume that notions of alternative possibilities are ubiquitous and reflected in everyday intuitions about moral responsibility: if one lacks alternatives, then one cannot be morally responsible. We explore this issue empirically. In two studies, we find evidence that folk judgments about moral responsibility call into question two popular principles that require some form of alternative possibilities for moral (...)
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  • On the very concept of free will.Joshua May - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2849-2866.
    Determinism seems to rule out a robust sense of options but also prevent our choices from being a matter of luck. In this way, free will seems to require both the truth and falsity of determinism. If the concept of free will is coherent, something must have gone wrong. I offer a diagnosis on which this puzzle is due at least in part to a tension already present in the very idea of free will. I provide various lines of support (...)
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  • Responsibility and Control.John Fischer - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):24-40.
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  • Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action.Alan Donagan - 1987 - New York: Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1987, investigates what distinguishes the part of human behaviour that is action from the part that is not. The distinction was clearly drawn by Socrates, and developed by Aristotle and the medievals, but key elements of their work became obscured in modern philosophy, and were not fully recovered when, under Wittgenstein’s influence, the theory of action was revived in analytical philosophy. This study aims to recover those elements, and to analyse them in terms of a (...)
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  • The folk concept of intentionality.Joshua Knobe & Bertram Malle - 1997 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 33:101-121.
    When perceiving, explaining, or criticizing human behavior, people distinguish between intentional and unintentional actions. To do so, they rely on a shared folk concept of intentionality. In contrast to past speculative models, this article provides an empirically-based model of this concept. Study 1 demonstrates that people agree substantially in their judgments of intentionality, suggesting a shared underlying concept. Study 2 reveals that when asked to directly define the term intentional, people mention four components of intentionality: desire, belief, intention, and awareness. (...)
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  • The self as a moral agent: Preschoolers behave morally but believe in the freedom to do otherwise.Nadia Chernyak & Tamar Kushnir - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Development 15 (3):453-464.
    Recent work suggests a strong connection between intuitions regarding our own free will and our moral behavior. We investigate the origins of this link by asking whether preschool-aged children construe their own moral actions as freely chosen. We gave children the option to make three moral/social choices (avoiding harm to another, following a rule, and following peer behavior) and then asked them to retrospect as to whether they were free to have done otherwise. When given the choice to act (either (...)
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  • Might We Have No Choice.Carl Ginet - 1966 - In Keith Lehrer (ed.), Freedom and Determinisim. Random House. pp. 87--104.
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  • The Nature, Common Usage, and Implications of Free Will and Determinism.Shirley Matile Ogletree & Crystal D. Oberle - 2008 - Behavior and Philosophy 36:97 - 111.
    Philosophers and psychologists have debated what is meant by free will as well as the nature of human choice. However, only recently have data been gathered to consider common usage of the term; our data support college students' belief in free will as indicating some degree of choice that is not constrained by genetic or environmental factors and as separate from a "soft" determinism perspective. How free will and determinism beliefs relate to other psychological attitudes, such as moral responsibility and (...)
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  • Alternative Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.
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  • The act of choice.Richard Holton - 2006 - Philosophers' Imprint 6:1-15.
    Choice is one of the central elements in the experience of free will, but it has not received a good account from either compatibilists or libertarians. This paper develops an account of choice based around three features: (i) choice is an action; (ii) choice is not determined by one's prior beliefs and desires; (iii) once the question of what to do has arisen, choice is typically both necessary and sufficient for moving to action. These features might appear to support a (...)
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  • Free will is about choosing: The link between choice and the belief in free will.Gilad Feldman, Roy Baumeister & Kin Fai Wong - 2014 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55:239-245.
    Expert opinions have yielded a wide and controversial assortment of conceptions of free will, but laypersons seem to associate free will more simply with making choices. We found that the more strongly people believed in free will, the more they liked making choices, the higher they rated their ability to make decisions (Study 1), the less difficult they perceived making decisions, and the more satisfied they were with their decisions (Study 2). High free will belief was also associated with more (...)
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  • The Insignificance of Choice.J. S. Biehl - 2008 - In David Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Value, Rational Choice, and the Will. Springer. pp. 110--75.
    For some time, philosophers have sought a more satisfactory understanding of the mysteries of morality through a close analysis of its assumed kinship with practical rationality, via the psychological capacity of choice. It is the view in the present paper that no such understanding is possible by these means. The significance of morality has nothing to do with choice.
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  • A Naturalistic Vision of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias & Morgan Thompson - 2014 - In Elizabeth O'Neill & Edouard Machery (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. Routledge.
    We argue, contra Joshua Knobe in a companion chapter, that most people have an understanding of free will and responsible agency that is compatible with a naturalistic vision of the human mind. Our argument is supported by results from a new experimental philosophy study showing that most people think free will is consistent with complete and perfect prediction of decisions and actions based on prior activity in the brain (a scenario adapted from Sam Harris who predicts most people will find (...)
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  • Responsibility without choice. A first-person approach.A. J. C. Freeman - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (10):61-68.
    Individuals are generally held to be morally and legally responsible only for actions carried out freely and deliberately, that is to say, for actions that result from our free choice. However, there is a quite widespread view that all of our actions are the result of the scientific laws that govern our physical bodies. If this should prove to be the case, then human choice would be an illusion, and therefore -- on the generally accepted principle just stated -- personal (...)
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