Philosophical Psychology 30 (1-2):185-197 (2017)

Eddy Nahmias
Georgia State University
Adina Roskies
Dartmouth College
Marcelo Fischborn discusses the significance of neuroscience for debates about free will. Although he concedes that, to date, Libet-style experiments have failed to threaten “libertarian free will”, he argues that, in principle, neuroscience and psychology could do so by supporting local determinism. We argue that, in principle, Libet-style experiments cannot succeed in disproving or even establishing serious doubt about libertarian free will. First, we contend that “local determination”, as Fischborn outlines it, is not a coherent concept. Moreover, determinism is unlikely to be established by neuroscience in any form that should trouble compatibilists or libertarians—that is, anyone who thinks we might have free will. We conclude that, in principle, neuroscience will not be able undermine libertarian free will and explain why these conclusions support a coherent compatibilist notion of causal sourcehood.
Keywords free will  determinism  compatibilism  neuroscience
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2016.1248286
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Questions for a Science of Moral Responsibility.Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):381-394.
Is Compatibilism Intuitive?Daniel Lim & Ju Chen - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):878-897.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Does Free Will Exist?David Kyle Johnson - 2016 - Think 15 (42):53-70.
Psychology and Free Will: A Commentary.Alfred Mele - 2008 - In J. Baer, J. C. Kaufman & R. Baumeister (eds.), Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 325.
Free Will and the Unconscious Precursors of Choice.Markus E. Schlosser - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):365-384.
The Explanatory Power of Local Miracle Compatibilism.Garrett Pendergraft - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):249-266.
The Impact Of Neuroscience On The Free Will Debate.Stephen Morris - 2009 - Florida Philosophical Review 9 (2):56-78.
Brain Determinism and Free Will.Sergio Magni - 2009 - Etica E Politica 11 (2):57-67.
The Phenomenology of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
How to Think About the Problem of Free Will.Peter van Inwagen - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):327 - 341.


Added to PP index

Total views
429 ( #15,460 of 2,362,031 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
63 ( #10,296 of 2,362,031 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes