Results for 'Free will'

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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a justification of punishment which can be endorsed by free will skeptics, and which can also be defended against the "using persons as mere means" objection. Free will skeptics must reject retributivism, that is, the view that punishment is just because criminals deserve to suffer based on their actions. Retributivists often claim that theirs is the only justification on which punishment is constrained by desert, and suppose that non-retributive (...)
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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Recent Buddhist Theories of Free Will: Compatibilism, Incompatibilism, and Beyond.Rick Repetti - 2014 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 21:279-352.
    Critical review of Buddhist theories of free will published between 2000 and 2014.
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  23. 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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  24. The Free Will Problem [Hobbes, Bramhall and Free Will].Paul Russell - 2011 - In Desmond M. Clarke & Catherine Wilson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 424-444.
    This article examines the free will problem as it arises within Thomas Hobbes' naturalistic science of morals in early modern Europe. It explains that during this period, the problem of moral and legal responsibility became acute as mechanical philosophy was extended to human psychology and as a result human choices were explained in terms of desires and preferences rather than being represented as acts of an autonomous faculty. It describes how Hobbes changed the face of moral philosophy, through (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Earlier Buddhist Theories of Free Will: Compatibilism.Rick Repetti - 2010 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 17:279-310.
    A critical review of the first wave of publications on Buddhism and free will between the 1960s and 1980s.
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  27. 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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  28.  94
    Buddhist Reductionism and Free Will: Paleo-Compatibilism.Rick Repetti - 2012 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 19:33-95.
    A critical review of Mark Siderits's arguments in support of a compatibilist Buddhist theory of free will based on early Abhidharma reductionism and the two-truths distinction between conventional and ultimate truths or reality, which theory he terms 'paleo-compatibilism'. The Buddhist two-truths doctrine is basically analogous to Sellers' distinction between the manifest and scientific images, in which case the argument is that determinism is a claim about ultimate reality, whereas personhood and agency are about conventional reality, both discourse domains (...)
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  29. 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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  30.  97
    Buddhism, Free Will, and Punishment: Taking Buddhist Ethics Seriously.Gregg D. Caruso - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):474-496.
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  31.  96
    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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  32.  42
    Free-Will and Non-Attachment in the Bhagavad Gita.James Daryl Sellmann & James Sellmann - 1987 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 14 (4):375.
    The paper argues that there is a unique from of free will in the Gita based on the universal presence of the ultimate reality.
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  33. Free Will as a Gift From God: A New Compatibilism.Jim Stone - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):257-281.
    I argue that God could give us the robust power to do other than we do in a deterministic universe.
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  34. 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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  35. Scientific Challenges to Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Joshua Shepherd - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (3):197-207.
    Here, I review work from three lines of research in cognitive science often taken to threaten free will and moral responsibility. This work concerns conscious deciding, the experience of acting, and the role of largely unnoticed situational influences on behavior. Whether this work in fact threatens free will and moral responsibility depends on how we ought to interpret it, and depends as well on the nature of free and responsible behavior. I discuss different ways this (...)
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  36. Free Will, 2nd Ed.Gary Watson - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40.  89
    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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. Free Will and Compatibilism.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author mounts a case against the libertarian and hard determinist's thesis that free will is impossible in a deterministic world. He charges incompatibilists with misconstruing ordinary 'free will' talk by overlaying common language with their own metaphysical presuppositions. Through a review of ordinary discourse and recent developments in jurisprudence and the sciences, he draws together the four key factors required for an act to be free. He then puts his 4C theory to work in (...)
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  44. Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will: Agentless Agency?Rick Repetti (ed.) - 2016 - London, UK: Routledge / Francis & Taylor.
    A collection of essays, mostly original, on the actual and possible positions on free will available to Buddhist philosophers, by Christopher Gowans, Rick Repetti, Jay Garfield, Owen Flanagan, Charles Goodman, Galen Strawson, Susan Blackmore, Martin T. Adam, Christian Coseru, Marie Friquegnon, Mark Siderits, Ben Abelson, B. Alan Wallace, Peter Harvey, Emily McRae, and Karin Meyers, and a Foreword by Daniel Cozort.
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  45.  78
    Free Will & Empirical Arguments for Epiphenomenalism.Nadine Elzein - 2020 - In Peter Róna & László Zsolnai (eds.), Agency and Causal Explanation in Economics. Virtues and Economics, vol 5. Cham, Switzerland: 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 (...)
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  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. 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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  50. Free Will and the Bounds of the Self.Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols - 2011 - In Robert Kane (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
    If you start taking courses in contemporary cognitive science, you will soon encounter a particular picture of the human mind. This picture says that the mind is a lot like a computer. Specifically, the mind is made up of certain states and certain processes. These states and processes interact, in accordance with certain general rules, to generate specific behaviors. If you want to know how those states and processes got there in the first place, the only answer is that (...)
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