David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press (2011)
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 a problem. Compatibilists, in turn, tend to proceed as if showing that determinism is not a problem thereby shows that we have free will, as if determinism is the only thing that might threaten free will. In this chapter, I reject both of these elements of the traditional debate; the question of whether we have free will should neither begin nor end with the so-called problem of determinism. I present and discuss evidence from a variety of studies that suggests that incompatibilism is not particularly intuitive. Most people do not have to be talked out of incompatibilism but rather talked into it. This provides some reasons—though certainly not decisive reasons—to think that compatibilism is true. I conclude by pointing out that, even if compatibilism were true, it would not dissolve the problem of free will, because there are problems other than determinism that need to be confronted—namely, challenges to free will suggested by current and “future science,” including neuroscience and psychology. The threats to free will suggested by these sciences are distinct from the traditional threat of determinism, and they are the ones that “ordinary persons” find intuitively threatening to free will. In fact, I will argue that the reason incompatibilism about free will and determinism appears to be intuitive is that determinism is often and easily misunderstood to involve these distinct threats to free will—threats that suggest that our rational, conscious mental activity is bypassed in the process of our making decisions and coming to act
|Keywords||free will experimental philosophy incompatibilism determinism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Kadri Vihvelin, Arguments for Incompatibilism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Noa Latham (2004). Determinism, Randomness, and Value. Philosophical Topics 32 (1-2):153-167.
Eddy Nahmias, D. Justin Coates & Trevor Kvaran (2007). Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Mechanism: Experiments on Folk Intuitions. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):214–242.
Ted Honderich (2002). How Free Are You? The Determinism Problem. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), Philosophical Quarterly. Oxford University Press 249.
Patrick Francken (1993). Incompatibilism, Nondeterministic Causation, and the Real Problem of Free Will. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:37-63.
Peter van Inwagen (1975). The Incompatibility of Free Will and Determinism. Philosophical Studies 27 (March):185-99.
Peter van Inwagen (1983). An Essay on Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Eddy Nahmias & Dylan Murray (2010). Experimental Philosophy on Free Will: An Error Theory for Incompatibilist Intuitions. In Jesus Aguilar, Andrei Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Action. Palgrave-Macmillan 189--215.
Shaun Nichols (2008). Great Philosophical Debates. Teaching Co..
Galen Strawson (1989). Consciousness, Free Will, and the Unimportance of Determinism. Inquiry 32 (March):3-27.
Dylan Murray & Eddy Nahmias (2014). Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):434-467.
Göran Duus-Otterström (2008). Betting Against Hard Determinism. Res Publica 14 (3):219-235.
Michael A. Slote (1969). Free Will, Determinism, and the Theory of Important Criteria. Inquiry 12 (1-4):317-38.
C. Taylor & Daniel C. Dennett (2002). Who's Afraid of Determinism? Rethinking Causes and Possibilities. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press 257--277.
Added to index2012-06-21
Total downloads268 ( #9,150 of 1,911,771 )
Recent downloads (6 months)157 ( #1,076 of 1,911,771 )
How can I increase my downloads?