William James Studies 5:1-28 (2010)
AbstractResearch into two-stage models of “free will” – first “free” random generation of alternative possibilities, followed by “willed” adequately determined decisions consistent with character, values, and desires – suggests that William James was in 1884 the first of a dozen philosophers and scientists to propose such a two-stage model for free will. We review the later work to establish James’s priority. By limiting chance to the generation of alternative possibilities, James was the first to overcome the standard two-part argument against free will, i.e., that the will is either determined or random. James gave it elements of both, to establish freedom but preserve responsibility. We show that James was influenced by Darwin’s model of natural selection, as were most recent thinkers with a two-stage model. In view of James’s famous decision to make his first act of freedom a choice to believe that his will is free, it is most fitting to celebrate James’s priority in the free will debates by naming the two-stage model – first chance, then choice -“Jamesian” free will.
Similar books and articles
‘q-Pareto-Scalar’ Two-Stage Extremization Model and its Reducibility to One-Stage Model.Fuad Aleskerov & Yetkin Çinar - 2008 - Theory and Decision 65 (4):325-338.
The Two-Stage Model of Emotion and the Interpretive Structure of the Mind.Marc A. Cohen - 2008 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 29 (4):291-320.
A variety of religious experience. William James and the non-reality of free will.Jonathan Bricklin - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):8-9.
William James's lost souls in Ursula le Guin's utopia.Linda Simon - 2004 - Philosophy and Literature 28 (1):89-102.
William James on free will and determinism.Donald W. Viney - 1986 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 7 (4):555-565.
Model-Based Influences on Humans' Choices and Striatal Prediction Errors.Nathaniel D. Daw, Samuel J. Gershman, Ben Seymour, Peter Dayan & Raymond J. Dolan - 2011 - Neuron 69 (6):1204-1215.
Selves and Communities in the Work of William James.Francesca Bordogna - 2004 - Streams of William James 6 (3):30-38.
Free Individual in a Free Society: The Philosophy of Justice William O. Douglas.Richard James Kraus - 1971 - Dissertation, Fordham University
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.Daniel C. Dennett (ed.) - 1978 - Bradford Books.
Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach.Karl Raimund Popper - 1972 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.Gilbert Harman & Daniel C. Dennett - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (1):115.