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Summary This category collects papers that do not fit, or do not wholly fit, under other free will and science headings. One particular focus is the evolution of free will. Some philosophers have argued that our powers of self-control are best understood as evolved powers, and that these powers are sufficient for free will (e.g. Dennett 2003); others that free will is an adaptive illusion.
Key works Dennett 2003
Introductions Mele 2011
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  1. Rebecca Bamford & Mark D. Tschaepe (2011). Biophysical Models of Human Behavior: Is There a Place for Logic. American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 2 (3):70-72.
    We present a two-pronged criticism of Ramos's argument. Our main contention is that the logic of the author’s argument is flawed. As we demonstrate, the author conflates probability with necessity, in addition to conflating free will having causal efficacy with the merely illusory conscious experience of free will; such conflations undermine the claim that individual free will should be both exhibited on a social scale and necessarily cause a particular organized pattern to emerge. In addition, we will show that the (...)
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  2. Ansgar Beckermann (2003). Would Biological Determinism Rule Out the Possibility of Freedom? In Andreas Hüttemann (ed.), Determinism in Physics and Biology. Mentis. 136--149.
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  3. Gregg Caruso (2012). Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will. Lexington Books.
    In recent decades, with advances in the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences, the idea that patterns of human behavior may ultimately be due to factors beyond our conscious control has increasingly gained traction and renewed interest in the age-old problem of free will. In this book I examine both the traditional philosophical problems long associated with the question of free will, such as the relationship between determinism and free will, as well as recent experimental and theoretical work directly related to consciousness (...)
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  4. Martin Davidson (1937). Free Will or Determinism. London, Watts & Co..
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  5. Daniel Dennett (2005). Natural Freedom. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):449-459.
    Dearly beloved, I want to thank Brother Tim O’Connor for his candid reactions to my published sermons this Sunday morning, and I welcome you all, in the spirit of ecumenicism, to the Church of Fundamentalist Naturalism. Before the collection plate is passed, let me tell you a bit more about the Church. Our symbol is of course the Darwin-fish, the four-legged evolver that echoes the ancient fish symbol of Christianity. I was wearing my Darwin-fish lapel pin at an evolutionary theory (...)
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  6. Daniel C. Dennett (2005). Natural Freedom. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):449-458.
    Three critics of Freedom Evolves (Dennett 2003) bring out important differences in philosophical outlook and method. Mele’s thought experiments are supposed to expose the importance, for autonomy, of personal history, but they depend on the dubious invocation of mere logical or conceptual possibility. Fischer defends the Basic Argument for incompatibilism, while Taylor and I choose to sidestep it instead of disposing of it. Where does the burden of proof lie? O’Connor’s candid expression of allegiance to traditional ideas that I reject (...)
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  7. Daniel Clement Dennett (2003). Freedom Evolves. Viking.
    Daniel C. Dennett is a brilliant polemicist, famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies. Over the last thirty years, he has played a major role in expanding our understanding of consciousness, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory. And with such groundbreaking, critically acclaimed books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist), he has reached a huge general and professional audience. In this new book, Dennett shows that evolution is the key to resolving the ancient problems (...)
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  8. Solomon Feferman (2011). Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems, Free Will and Mathematical Thought. In Richard Swinburne (ed.), Free Will and Modern Science. Oup/British Academy.
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  9. Mark Fisher (1983). A Note on Free Will and Artificial Intelligence. Philosophia 13 (September):75-80.
  10. Susan T. Gardner (2008). Agitating for Munificence or Going Out of Business. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 3:21-29.
    If you cannot, then you ought not. Taking its own precepts seriously, philosophy, in the face of scientific deterministic success, has abandoned its original calling of inspiring munificence and, in doing so, has undercut much of its own relevance. But this need not be the case. If we adopt a more finely grained set of theoretical glasses, we will see that human freedom is simply the icing on a deterministic layer cake that launches entities, both phylogenetically and ontogenetically, from the (...)
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  11. P. Hájı´Ček (2009). Free Will as Relative Freedom with Conscious Component. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):103-109.
  12. David J. Hanson (1970). Science, Determinism and Free Will. Journal of Social Research 13 (March):49-54.
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  13. Steven Horst (2011). Laws, Mind, and Free Will. A Bradford Book.
    An account of scientific laws that vindicates the status of psychological laws and shows natural laws to be compatible with free will.
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  14. Peter Inwagen (1972). Lehrer on Determinism, Free Will, and Evidence. Philosophical Studies 23 (5):351 - 357.
  15. Mathew Iredale (2012). The Problem of Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction. Acumen.
    The book explores what it is about the free will problem that makes it so intractable and argues that the only acceptable solution must be one consistent with what science tells us about the world. It is here, maintains Iredale, that many works on free will, introductory or otherwise, fall down, by focusing only on how free will relates to determinism. He shows that there are clear areas of scientific research which are directly and significantly relevant to free will in (...)
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  16. Stephen Kearns (2013). Review of "Free Will and Modern Science&Quot;. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  17. John Lemos (2002). Evolution and Free Will: A Defense of Darwinian Non-Naturalism. Metaphilosophy 33 (4):468-482.
  18. J. R. Lucas (2011). Feferman on Gödel and Free Will : A Response to Chapter 6. In Richard Swinburne (ed.), Free Will and Modern Science. Oup/British Academy.
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  19. Matteo Mameli (2003). On Dennett and the Natural Sciences of Free Will. Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):731-742.
    _Freedom Evolves _is an ambitious book. The aim is to show that free will is compatible with what physics, biology and the neurosciences tell us about the way we function and that, moreover, these sciences can help us clarify and vindicate the most important aspects of the common-sense conception of free will, those aspects that play a fundamental role in the way we live our lives and in the way we organize our society.
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  20. Nicholas Maxwell (2005). Science Versus Realization of Value, Not Determinism Versus Choice. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):53-58.
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  21. Nicholas Maxwell (2001). The Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will and Evolution. Lanham: Rowman &Amp; Littlefield.
    This book tackles the problem of how we can understand our human world embedded in the physical universe in such a way that justice is done both to the richness...
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  22. Alfred Mele (forthcoming). Free Will and Substance Dualism: The Real Scientific Threat to Free Will? In W. Sinnot-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Vol. 4: Free Will and Responsibility. MIT Press.
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  23. Alfred Mele (forthcoming). Vetoing and Consciousness. In T. Vierkant, J. Kiverstein & A. Clark (eds.), Decomposing the Will. Oxford University Press.
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  24. Alfred Mele (2012). Another Scientific Threat to Free Will? The Monist 95 (3):422-440.
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  25. Alfred Mele (2011). Free Will and Science. In R. Kane (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Free Will, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
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  26. Alfred Mele (2010). Scientific Skepticism About Free Will. In T. Nadelhoffer, E. Nahmias & S. Nichols (eds.), Moral Psychology: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Blackwell. 295.
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  27. Alfred Mele (2008). Psychology and Free Will: A Commentary. In J. Baer, J. C. Kaufman & R. Baumeister (eds.), Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will. Oxford University Press. 325.
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  28. Alfred Mele (2008). Recent Work on Free Will and Science. American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (2):107-129.
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  29. Alfred Mele (2005). Dennett on Freedom. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):414-426.
    This article is my contribution to an author-meets-critics session on Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves (Viking, 2003) at the 2004 meetings of the American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division. Dennett criticizes a view I defend in Autonomous Agents (Oxford University Press, 1995) about the importance of agents’ histories for autonomy, freedom, and moral responsibility and defends a competing view. Our disagreement on this issue is the major focus of this article. Additional topics are manipulation, avoidance, and avoidability.
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  30. Alfred R. Mele (2013). Free Will, Science, and Punishment. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa. 177.
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  31. Alfred R. Mele (2005). Dennett on Freedom. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):414-426.
    This article is my contribution to an author-meets-critics session on Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves (Viking, 2003) at the 2004 meetings of the American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division. Dennett criticizes a view I defend in Autonomous Agents (Oxford University Press, 1995) about the importance of agents’ histories for autonomy, freedom, and moral responsibility and defends a competing view. Our disagreement on this issue is the major focus of this article. Additional topics are manipulation, avoidance, and avoidability.
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  32. Henry A. Mess (1943). Chance, Free Will and the Social Sciences. Philosophy 18 (71):231 - 239.
  33. J. Miller & A. Feltz (2011). Frankfurt and the Folk: An Empirical Investigation. Consciousness and Cognition 20:401-414.
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  34. Eddy Nahmias (2012). Defining Free Will Away. [REVIEW] The Philosophers Magazine 58 (3):110-114.
    A critical review of Sam Harris' Free Will (2012).
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  35. Eddy Nahmias (2012). Free Will and Responsibility. WIREs Cognitive Science 3 (4):439-449.
    Free will is a set of capacities for conscious choice and control of actions and is essential for moral responsibility. While determinism is traditionally discussed as the main potential challenge to free will and responsibility, other potential challenges exist and need to be considered by philosophers and scientists. The cognitive sciences are relevant to free will both to study how people understand free will and potential challenges to it, and to study whether these challenges are supported by relevant scientific evidence.
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  36. Eddy Nahmias & Morgan Thompson (2014). A Naturalistic Vision of Free Will. 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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  37. Natika Newton (2003). A Critical Review of Nicholas Maxwell's the Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will, and Evolution. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):149 – 156.
    Nicholas Maxwell takes on the ambitious project of explaining, both epistemologically and metaphysically, the physical universe and human existence within it. His vision is appealing; he unites the physical and the personal by means of the concepts of aim and value, which he sees as the keys to explaining traditional physical puzzles. Given the current popularity of theories of goal-oriented dynamical systems in biology and cognitive science, this approach is timely. But a large vision requires firm and nuanced arguments to (...)
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  38. Ricardo Noguera‐Solano (2013). The Metaphor of the Architect in Darwin: Chance and Free Will. Zygon 48 (4):859-874.
    In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, published in 1868, Darwin used the metaphor of the architect to argue in favor of natural autonomy and to clarify the role of chance in his theory of adaptive change by variation and natural selection. In this article, I trace the history of this important heuristic instrument in Darwin's writings and letters and suggest that this metaphor was important to Darwin because it helps him to explain the role of chance, and (...)
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  39. Timothy O'Connor (2005). Pastoral Counsel for the Anxious Naturalist: Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):436-448.
    The church-going philosopher who settles in for an extended reading of Dan Dennett’s new book will find himself in a familiar circumstance. What one confronts is a lot more like an extended sermon than it is a typical philosophical treatise. And, whatever one’s Sunday morning habits, one can’t help but admire the preaching skills artfully displayed. The delivery is powerful and assured; the argument is streamlined, peppered with evocative and delightful illustrations that will be recalled long after the particular points (...)
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  40. Timothy O'Connor (2005). Pastoral Counsel for the Anxious Naturalist: Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):436-448.
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  41. Robert Pollack (2000/2013). The Faith of Biology & the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science. Columbia University Press.
    Originally published: c2000. With new pref. An award-winning biologist argues that the intersection of scientific creativity and religious insight is a prerequisite for the emergence of a more humane medical science.
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  42. George Edgin Pugh (1976). Human Values, Free Will, and the Conscious Mind. Zygon 11 (1):2-25.
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  43. Nicholas Rescher (2009). Fallacies Regarding Free Will. Review of Metaphysics 62 (3):575-589.
    This article identifies and criticizes fallacies found in arguments against the existence of free will. These arguments draw in a variety of issues, including: natural causation, deliberation, the relation of mind and body, agent-internal and agent-external determinism, motivation for action, and the evolutionary role of free-will. The paper contends that, in each case, the misconception at issue can be overcome by drawing appropriate distinctions, the heeding of which makes for a more viable construal of how freedom of the will—if such (...)
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  44. James A. Schirillo (1995). Self-Control: Acts of Free Will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (1):141-141.
    Rachlin overlooks that free will determines when and in what direction acts that appear impulsive will occur. Because behavioral patterns continuously evolve, animals are not guaranteed when they will, or how to, maximize larger-later reinforcements. An animal therefore uses self-control to emit free acts to vary behavioral patterns to optimize larger-later rewards.
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  45. Markus E. Schlosser (2012). Review of "Free Will and Modern Science", R. Swinburne (Ed.), 2011. [REVIEW] International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):463-466.
  46. Joshua Shepherd (forthcoming). Scientific Challenges to Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass.
    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 work has been interpreted, and (...)
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  47. Aaron Sloman (1993). How to Dispose of the Free Will Issue. AISB Quarterlye 82:31-2.
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  48. Patrick Suppes (1994). Voluntary Motion, Biological Computation, and Free Will. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):452-467.
  49. Richard Swinburne (2011). Introduction : Plan of the Volume. In , Free Will and Modern Science. Oup/British Academy.
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  50. Matthew Usher (2006). Control, Choice, and the Convergence/Divergence Dynamics: A Compatibilistic Probabilistic Theory of Free Will. Journal of Philosophy 103 (4):188-213.
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