Topoi 33 (1):5-12 (2014)

The problem of free will is among the most fascinating and disputed questions throughout the history of philosophy and psychology. Traditionally limited to philosophical and theological debate, in the last decades it has become a matter of scientific investigation. The theoretical and methodological advances in neuroscience allowed very complex psychological functions related to free will (conscious intentions, decision-making, and agency) to be investigated. In parallel, neuroscience is gaining momentum in the media, and various scientific findings are claimed to provide evidence that free will is nothing more than an illusion. Why do neuroscientific findings have such a strong impact on our notion of free will? Does it really matter what neuroscience tells us about free will? Here we critically examine studies in experimental philosophy, social psychology and cognitive neuroscience that attempt to provide an empirical answer to these questions. This overview of the literature demonstrates that inducing disbelief in free will has an impact on folk psychology, social behavior and intentional action
Keywords Free will  Intention  Volition  Belief
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-013-9210-y
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An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

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