Dana Nelkin: The sense of freedom

Abstract

When you are making up your mind, deciding what to do, you have the idea that you are free in what you are doing. It is hard to shake. You are going to do the one thing, but you can certainly do the other. That is what you think. Rational deliberators, as they can be called, have an inescapable sense of freedom. Dana Nelkin, in the following clear-headed paper, asks if this sense of freedom establishes that determinism is not true. Read on for her answer. She also has things to say about another understanding of the claim that we know we are free when we are making up our minds. Whether or not you agree, you will learn things. Prof. Nelkin is at the University of California at San Diego.

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Ted Honderich
University College London

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