Free will in absentia: Dennett on free will and determinism

Mark Crooks has given a helpful discussion of Daniel Dennett's "philosophical abolition of mind," adding to the list of reasons why many philosophers jokingly say Dennett should have titled his 1991 book "Consciousness Explained Away". As Crooks argues, Dennett really is committed 'to our phenomenal experience, beliefs, desires, etc. as all being illusory in the strongest possible sense. Yet, when it comes to free will, Dennett fights hard to maintain that free will is something more than an illusion, that it is a capacity our neurophysiological machinery has. Dennett's new book-like his writings on mind and consciousness-is short on argument and long on rhetoric and cute stories. And herein lies Dennett's greatest strength, to seemingly make palatable ideas that many people think stand no chance. This, however, is also his greatest weakness in that ultimately the rhetoric fails to carry the day under closer scrutiny. 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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DOI 10.1037/h0091233
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