David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press 126–50 (2013)
Incompatibilists often claim that we experience our agency as incompatible with determinism, while compatibilists challenge this claim. We report a series of experiments that focus on whether the experience of having an ability to do otherwise is taken to be at odds with determinism. We found that participants in our studies described their experience as incompatibilist whether the decision was (i) present-focused or retrospective, (ii) imagined or actual, (iii) morally salient or morally neutral. The only case in which participants did not give incompatibilist judgments was when the question was explicitly about whether one’s ignorance of the future was compatible with determinism. This lends empirical support to claims made by incompatibilists about the experience of agency, while also showing that compatibilist accounts of ability are inadequate to the reported phenomenology. Our results also inform recent debates about the presuppositions of deliberation.
|Keywords||free will agency phenomenology ability decision experimental philosophy|
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Citations of this work BETA
David Rose & Shaun Nichols (2013). The Lesson of Bypassing. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):599-619.
Gregg D. Caruso (2015). Free Will Eliminativism: Reference, Error, and Phenomenology. Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2823-2833.
Oisín Deery (2015). Is Agentive Experience Compatible with Determinism? Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):2-19.
Oisín Deery (2015). Why People Believe in Indeterminist Free Will. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2033-2054.
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