Is Free Will an Illusion? Confronting Challenges from the Modern Mind Sciences

In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, vol. 4: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press (2014)
Authors
Eddy Nahmias
Georgia State University
Abstract
In this chapter I consider various potential challenges to free will from the modern mind sciences. After motivating the importance of considering these challenges, I outline the argument structure for such challenges: they require simultaneously establishing a particular condition for free will and an empirical challenge to that condition. I consider several potential challenges: determinism, naturalism, and epiphenomenalism, and explain why none of these philosophical challenges is bolstered by new discoveries from neuroscience and psychology. I then respond to relevant empirical challenges to the role of consciousness and rationality in action.
Keywords free will  moral responsibility  neuroscience  psychology
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DOI 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026680.003.0002
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