Erkenntnis 84 (3):617-631 (2019)

Authors
Robert Northcott
Birkbeck, University of London
Abstract
Much recent work in neuroscience aims to shed light on whether we have free will. Can it? Can any science? To answer, we need to disentangle different notions of free will, and clarify what we mean by ‘empirical’ and ‘testable’. That done, my main conclusion is, duly interpreted: that free will is not a testable hypothesis. In particular, it is neither verifiable nor falsifiable by empirical evidence. The arguments for this are not a priori but rather are based on a posteriori consideration of the relevant neuroscientific investigations, as well as on standard philosophy of science work on the notion of testability.
Keywords free will  testability  empirical
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Reprint years 2018, 2019
DOI 10.1007/s10670-018-9974-y
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
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The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.

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