Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions about free will and moral responsibility

Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584 (2005)
Abstract
Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of surveying people’s prephilosophical judgments about the freedom and responsibility of agents in deterministic scenarios. In two studies, we found that a majority of participants judged that such agents act of their own free will and are morally responsible for their actions. We then discuss the philosophical implications of our results as well as various difficulties inherent in such research
Keywords Experiment  Folk Psychology  Free Will  Moral Responsibility  Philosophy
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DOI 10.1080/09515080500264180
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The Epistemology of Thought Experiments : First Person Versus Third Person Approaches.Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 128-159.
Survey-Driven Romanticism.Simon Cullen - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):275-296.
The Rise and Fall of Experimental Philosophy.Antti Kauppinen - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):95 – 118.

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