Folk intuitions, slippery slopes, and necessary fictions : an essay on Saul Smilansky's free will illusionism

In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell Pub. Inc.. 202–213 (2007)
During the past two decades, an interest among philosophers in fictitious and illusory beliefs has sprung up in fields ranging anywhere from mathematics and modality to morality.1 In this paper, we focus primarily on the view that Saul Smilansky has dubbed “free will illusionism”—i.e., the purportedly descriptive claim that most people have illusory beliefs concerning the existence of libertarian free will, coupled with the normative claim that because dispelling these illusory beliefs would produce negative personal and societal consequences, those of us who happen to know the dangerous and gloomy truth about the non-existence of libertarian free will should simply keep quiet in the name of the common good
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