Results for 'Free Will'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. Free Will Skepticism and Criminal Behavior: A Public Health-Quarantine Model.Gregg D. Caruso - 2016 - Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (1):25-48.
    One of the most frequently voiced criticisms of free will skepticism is that it is unable to adequately deal with criminal behavior and that the responses it would permit as justified are insufficient for acceptable social policy. This concern is fueled by two factors. The first is that one of the most prominent justifications for punishing criminals, retributivism, is incompatible with free will skepticism. The second concern is that alternative justifications that are not ruled out by (...)
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  3.  37
    Free Will and the Tragic Predicament: Making Sense of Williams.Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Morality and Agency: Themes from Bernard Williams. New York, NY, USA: pp. 163-183.
    Free Will & The Tragic Predicament : Making Sense of Williams -/- The discussion in this paper aims to make better sense of free will and moral responsibility by way of making sense of Bernard Williams’ significant and substantial contribution to this subject. Williams’ fundamental objective is to vindicate moral responsibility by way of freeing it from the distortions and misrepresentations imposed on it by “the morality system”. What Williams rejects, in particular, are the efforts of (...)
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  4. The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs About Agency and Responsibility.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Lisa Thomson Ross - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 25:27-41.
    In this paper, we present the results of the construction and validation of a new psychometric tool for measuring beliefs about free will and related concepts: The Free Will Inventory (FWI). In its final form, FWI is a 29-item instrument with two parts. Part 1 consists of three 5-item subscales designed to measure strength of belief in free will, determinism, and dualism. Part 2 consists of a series of fourteen statements designed to further explore (...)
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  5. Is Free Will an Illusion? Confronting Challenges From the Modern Mind Sciences.Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, vol. 4: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press.
    In this chapter I consider various potential challenges to free will from the modern mind sciences. After motivating the importance of considering these challenges, I outline the argument structure for such challenges: they require simultaneously establishing a particular condition for free will and an empirical challenge to that condition. I consider several potential challenges: determinism, naturalism, and epiphenomenalism, and explain why none of these philosophical challenges is bolstered by new discoveries from neuroscience and psychology. I then (...)
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  6. Free Will as Involving Determination and Inconceivable Without It.R. E. Hobart - 1934 - Mind 43 (169):1-27.
    The thesis of this article is that there has never been any ground for the controversy between the doctrine of free will and determinism, that it is based upon a misapprehension, that the two assertions are entirely consistent, that one of them strictly implies the other, that they have been opposed only because of our natural want of the analytical imagination. In so saying I do not tamper with the meaning of either phrase. That would be unpardonable. I (...)
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  7. Free Will, Self‐Creation, and the Paradox of Moral Luck.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):224-256.
    How is the problem of free will related to the problem of moral luck? In this essay, I answer that question and outline a new solution to the paradox of moral luck, the source-paradox solution. This solution both explains why the paradox arises and why moral luck does not exist. To make my case, I highlight a few key connections between the paradox of moral luck and two related problems, namely the problem of free will and (...)
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  8. Consciousness, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility: Taking the Folk Seriously.Joshua Shepherd - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):929-946.
    In this paper, I offer evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness. In sections 2 and 3, I contrast action production via conscious states and processes with action in concordance with an agent's long-standing and endorsed motivations, values, and character traits. Results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits. In section 4, I (...)
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  9. The Free-Will Intuitions Scale and the Question of Natural Compatibilism.Oisín Deery, Taylor Davis & Jasmine Carey - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (6):776-801.
    Standard methods in experimental philosophy have sought to measure folk intuitions using experiments, but certain limitations are inherent in experimental methods. Accordingly, we have designed the Free-Will Intuitions Scale to empirically measure folk intuitions relevant to free-will debates using a different method. This method reveals what folk intuitions are like prior to participants' being put in forced-choice experiments. Our results suggest that a central debate in the experimental philosophy of free will—the “natural” compatibilism debate—is (...)
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  10. Free Will: Real or Illusion - A Debate.Gregg D. Caruso, Christian List & Cory J. Clark - 2020 - The Philosopher 108 (1).
    Debate on free will with Christian List, Gregg Caruso, and Cory Clark. The exchange is focused on Christian List's book Why Free Will Is Real.
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  11. Why Free Will Remains a Mystery.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
    Peter van Inwagen contends that free will is a mystery. Here I present an argument in the spirit of van Inwagen's. According to the Assimilation Argument, libertarians cannot plausibly distinguish causally undetermined actions, the ones they take to be exercises of free will, from overtly randomized outcomes of the sort nobody would count as exercises of free will. I contend that the Assimilation Argument improves on related arguments in locating the crucial issues between van (...)
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  12. Libertarian Free Will and the Physical Indeterminism Luck Objection.Dwayne Moore - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):159-182.
    Libertarian free will is, roughly, the view that agents cause actions to occur or not occur: Maddy’s decision to get a beer causes her to get up off her comfortable couch to get a beer, though she almost chose not to get up. Libertarian free will notoriously faces the luck objection, according to which agential states do not determine whether an action occurs or not, so it is beyond the control of the agent, hence lucky, whether (...)
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  13. Free Will Pessimism.Paul Russell - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 4. New York, NY, USA: pp. 93-120..
    The immediate aim of this paper is to articulate the essential features of an alternative compatibilist position, one that is responsive to sources of resistance to the compatibilist program based on considerations of fate and luck. The approach taken relies on distinguishing carefully between issues of skepticism and pessimism as they arise in this context. A compatibilism that is properly responsive to concerns about fate and luck is committed to what I describe as free will pessimism, which is (...)
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  14. Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism.Gregg Caruso - 2019 - In Elizabeth Shaw (ed.), Free Will Skepticism in Law and Society. New York: pp. 43-72.
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  15. 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 (...)
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  16. 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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  17. Free Will and the Asymmetrical Justifiability of Holding Morally Responsible.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):772-789.
    This paper is about an asymmetry in the justification of praising and blaming behaviour which free will theorists should acknowledge even if they do not follow Wolf and Nelkin in holding that praise and blame have different control conditions. That is, even if praise and blame have the same control condition, we must have stronger reasons for believing that it is satisfied to treat someone as blameworthy than we require to treat someone as praiseworthy. Blaming behaviour which involves (...)
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  18. Free Will Skepticism and the Question of Creativity: Creativity, Desert, and Self-Creation.D. Caruso Gregg - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    Free will skepticism maintains that what we do, and the way we are, is ultimately the result of factors beyond our control and because of this we are never morally responsible for our actions in the basic desert sense—the sense that would make us truly deserving of praise and blame. In recent years, a number of contemporary philosophers have advanced and defended versions of free will skepticism, including Derk Pereboom (2001, 2014), Galen Strawson (2010), Neil Levy (...)
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  19. Taking Free Will Skepticism Seriously.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):833-852.
    An apparently increasing number of philosophers take free will skepticism to pose a serious challenge to some of our practices. This must seem odd to many—why should anyone think that free will skepticism is relevant for our practices, when nobody seems to think that other canonical forms of philosophical skepticism are relevant for our practices? Part of the explanation may be epistemic, but here I focus on a metaethical explanation. Free will skepticism is special (...)
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  20. The Metasphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control.John Martin Fischer - 1994 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    The Metaphysics of Free Will provides a through statement of the major grounds for skepticism about the reality of free will and moral responsibility. The author identifies and explains the sort of control that is associated with personhood and accountability, and shows how it is consistent with causal determinism. In so doing, out view of ourselves as morally responsible agents is protected against the disturbing changes posed by science and religion.
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  21. Free Will and External Reality: Two Scepticisms Compared.Helen Steward - 2020 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 120 (1):1-20.
    This paper considers the analogies and disanalogies between a certain sort of argument designed to oppose scepticism about free will and a certain sort of argument designed to oppose scepticism about the external world. In the case of free will, I offer the ancient Lazy Argument and an argument of my own, which I call the Agency Argument, as examples of the relevant genre; and in the case of the external world, I consider Moore’s alleged proof (...)
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  22. Free Will and Agential Powers.Randolph Clarke & Thomas Reed - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Agency and Moral Responsibility 3:6-33.
    Free will is often said—by compatibilists and incompatibilists alike—to be a power (or complex of powers) of agents. This paper offers proposals for, and examines the prospects of, a powers-conception of free will that takes the powers in question to be causal dispositions. A difficulty for such an account stems from the idea that when one exercises free will, it is up to oneself whether one wills to do this or that. The paper also (...)
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  23.  29
    Retributivism, Free Will Skepticism, and the Public Health-Quarantine Model: Replies to Kennedy, Walen, Corrado, Sifferd, Pereboom, and Shaw.Gregg D. Caruso - 2022 - Journal of Legal Philosophy 2 (46):161-216.
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  24. Free Will, Agent Causation, and “Disappearing Agents”.Randolph Clarke - 2017 - Noûs:76-96.
    A growing number of philosophers now hold that agent causation is required for agency, or free will, or moral responsibility. To clarify what is at issue, this paper begins with a distinction between agent causation that is ontologically fundamental and agent causation that is reducible to or realized in causation by events or states. It is widely accepted that agency presents us with the latter; the view in question claims a need for the former. The paper then examines (...)
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  25. Free Will Eliminativism: Reference, Error, and Phenomenology.Gregg D. Caruso - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2823-2833.
    Shaun Nichols has recently argued that while the folk notion of free will is associated with error, a question still remains whether the concept of free will should be eliminated or preserved. He maintains that like other eliminativist arguments in philosophy, arguments that free will is an illusion seem to depend on substantive assumptions about reference. According to free will eliminativists, people have deeply mistaken beliefs about free will and this (...)
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  26. Free Will and the Scientific Vision.Joshua Knobe - 2014 - 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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  27. Free Will and the Cross-Level Consequence Argument.Jonathan Birch - 2020
    Christian List has recently constructed a novel formal framework for representing the relationship between free will and determinism. At its core is a distinction between physical and agential levels of description. List has argued that, since the consequence argument cannot be reconstructed within this framework, the consequence argument rests on a ‘category mistake’: an illicit conflation of the physical and agential levels. I show that an expanded version of List’s framework allows the construction of a cross-level consequence argument.
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  28. Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility?: A Case for Rethinking Their Relationship and the Design of Experimental Studies in Moral Psychology.Carrie Figdor & Mark Phelan - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (5):603-627.
    Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moral responsibility. Our results also suggest that experimental investigation of the relationship is ill served by a focus on incompatibilism versus compatibilism. We propose an alternative framework for empirical moral psychology in which judgments of free will and moral responsibility can vary independently in response (...)
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  29. Free Will? What’s That?Marco Masi - manuscript
    The question of whether we have free will is a longstanding philosophical debate that has led to divided fronts and interpretations. The first ambiguity arises due to a misconception about the relation between causal determinism, as formulated in classical physics, and the notion of free will, which, once clarified, undermines not only compatibilism but also naïve formulations of libertarianism. We show that either one maintains a material monistic physical causal determinism and must give up free (...)
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  30.  68
    Retributivism, Free Will, and the Public Health-Quarantine Model.Gregg D. Caruso - forthcoming - In Palgrave Handbook of the Philosophy of Punishment. London, UK:
    This chapter outlines six distinct reasons for rejecting retributivism, not the least of which is that it’s unclear that agents possess the kind of free will and moral responsibility needed to justify it. It then sketches a novel non-retributive alternative called the public health-quarantine model. The core idea of the model is that the right to harm in self-defense and defense of others justifies incapacitating the criminally dangerous with the minimum harm required for adequate protection. The model also (...)
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  31. Free Will, Determinism, and the Right Levels of Description.Leonhard Menges - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (1):1-18.
    ABSTRACT Recently, many authors have argued that claims about determinism and free will are situated on different levels of description and that determinism on one level does not rule out free will on another. This paper focuses on Christian List’s version of this basic idea. It will be argued for the negative thesis that List’s account does not rule out the most plausible version of incompatibilism about free will and determinism and, more constructively, (...)
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  32. Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that we are morally responsible are not quite this (...)
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  33.  59
    The Limits of Free Will: Selected Essays.Paul Russell - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    The Limits of Free Will presents influential articles by Paul Russell concerning free will and moral responsibility. The problems arising in this field of philosophy, which are deeply rooted in the history of the subject, are also intimately related to a wide range of other fields, such as law and criminology, moral psychology, theology, and, more recently, neuroscience. These articles were written and published over a period of three decades, although most have appeared in the past (...)
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  34. Free Will, Narrative, and Retroactive Self-Constitution.Roman Altshuler - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):867-883.
    John Fischer has recently argued that the value of acting freely is the value of self-expression. Drawing on David Velleman’s earlier work, Fischer holds that the value of a life is a narrative value and free will is valuable insofar as it allows us to shape the narrative structure of our lives. This account rests on Fischer’s distinction between regulative control and guidance control. While we lack the former kind of control, on Fischer’s view, the latter is all (...)
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  35. Contextualizing Free Will.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (2):187-204.
    Hawthorne toys with the view that ascriptions of free will are context-sensitive. But the way he formulates the view makes freedom contextualism look like a non-starter. I step into the breach for freedom contextualism. My aim is twofold. On the one hand, I argue that freedom contextualism can be motivated on the basis of our ordinary practice of freedom attribution is not ad hoc. The view explains data which cannot be accounted for by an ambiguity hypothesis. On the (...)
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  36. Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. (Free will is understood here as whatever satisfies the control condition of moral responsibility.) Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But (...)
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  37.  57
    Free Will Skepticism and Criminals as Ends in Themselves.Benjamin Vilhauer - forthcoming - In Matthew C. Altman (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Punishment. New York:
    This chapter offers non-retributive, broadly Kantian justifications of punishment and remorse which can be endorsed by free will skeptics. We lose our grip on some Kantian ideas if we become skeptical about free will, but we can preserve some important ones which can do valuable work for free will skeptics. The justification of punishment presented here has consequentialist features but is deontologically constrained by our duty to avoid using others as mere means. It draws (...)
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  38. Free Will, the Self and the Brain.Gilberto Gomes - 2007 - Behavioral Sciences and the Law 2 (25):221-234.
    The free will problem is defined and three solutions are discussed: no-freedom theory, libertarianism, and compatibilism. Strict determinism is often assumed in arguing for libertarianism or no-freedom theory. It assumes that the history of the universe is fixed, but modern physics admits a certain degree of randomness in the determination of events. However, this is not enough for a compatibilist position—which is favored here—since freedom is not randomness. It is the I that chooses what to do. It is (...)
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  39. Free Will Skepticism and Bypassing.Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom - 2014 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Vol. 4. MIT Press. pp. 27–35.
    Discusses Eddy Nahmias' “Is Free Will an Illusion?”.
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  40. Free Will, Art and Morality.Paul Russell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):307 - 325.
    The discussion in this paper begins with some observations regarding a number of structural similarities between art and morality as it involves human agency. On the basis of these observations we may ask whether or not incompatibilist worries about free will are relevant to both art and morality. One approach is to claim that libertarian free will is essential to our evaluations of merit and desert in both spheres. An alternative approach, is to claim that (...) will is required only in the sphere of morality—and that to this extent the art/morality analogy breaks down. I argue that both these incompatibilist approaches encounter significant problems and difficulties—and that incompatibilist have paid insufficient attention to these issues. However, although the analogy between art and morality may be welcomed by compatibilists, it does not pave the way for an easy or facile optimism on this subject. On the contrary, while the art/morality analogy may lend support to compatibilism it also serves to show that some worries of incompatibilism relating to the role of luck in human life cannot be easily set aside, which denies compatibilism any basis for complacent optimism on this subject. (shrink)
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  41. Free Will and the Unconscious Precursors of Choice.Markus E. Schlosser - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):365-384.
    Benjamin Libet's empirical challenge to free will has received a great deal of attention and criticism. A standard line of response has emerged that many take to be decisive against Libet's challenge. In the first part of this paper, I will argue that this standard response fails to put the challenge to rest. It fails, in particular, to address a recent follow-up experiment that raises a similar worry about free will (Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, (...)
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  42. Free Will and Time Travel.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2016 - In Meghan Griffith, Neil Levy & Kevin Timpe (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Free Will. New York: Routledge. pp. 680-690.
    In this chapter I articulate the threat that time travel to the past allegedly poses to the free will of the time traveler, and I argue that on the traditional way of thinking about free will, the incompatibilist about time travel and free will wins the day. However, a residual worry about the incompatibilist view points the way toward a novel way of thinking about free will, one that I tentatively explore toward (...)
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  43. Buddhism, Free Will, and Punishment: Taking Buddhist Ethics Seriously.Gregg D. Caruso - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):474-496.
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  44. Free Will and Determinism: Resolving the Tension.Richard Startup - 2021 - Open Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):482-498.
    Progress may be made in resolving the tension between free will and determinism by analysis of the necessary conditions of freedom. It is of the essence that these conditions include causal and deterministic regularities. Furthermore, the human expression of free will is informed by understanding some of those regularities, and increments in that understanding have served to enhance freedom. When the possible character of a deterministic system based on physical theory is considered, it is judged that, (...)
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  45. Intuitions About Free Will, Determinism, and Bypassing.Eddy Nahmias - 2011 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will: Second Edition. Oxford University Press.
    It is often called “the problem of free will and determinism,” as if the only thing that might challenge free will is determinism and as if determinism is obviously a problem. The traditional debates about free will have proceeded accordingly. Typically, incompatibilists about free will and determinism suggest that their position is intuitive or commonsensical, such that compatibilists have the burden of showing how, despite appearances, the problem of determinism is not really (...)
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  46. The Phenomenology of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
    Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we (...)
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  47. A New Theory of Free Will.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" (...)
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  48. 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 (...)
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  49. Priming Effects and Free Will.Ezio Di Nucci - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (5):725-734.
    Abstract I argue that the empirical literature on priming effects does not warrant nor suggest the conclusion, drawn by prominent psychologists such as J. A. Bargh, that we have no free will or less free will than we might think. I focus on a particular experiment by Bargh ? the ?elderly? stereotype case in which subjects that have been primed with words that remind them of the stereotype of the elderly walk on average slower out of (...)
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  50. The Neuroscientific Study of Free Will: A Diagnosis of the Controversy.Markus E. Schlosser - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):245-262.
    Benjamin Libet’s work paved the way for the neuroscientific study of free will. Other scientists have praised this research as groundbreaking. In philosophy, the reception has been more negative, often even dismissive. First, I will propose a diagnosis of this striking discrepancy. I will suggest that the experiments seem irrelevant, from the perspective of philosophy, due to the way in which they operationalize free will. In particular, I will argue that this operational definition (...)
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