Emergent Will


The enduring problem of free will has defied resolution across centuries. There is reason to believe that novel factors must be integrated into the analysis to make progress. Within the current physicalist framework, these factors encompass emergence and information theory, in the context of constraints imposed by physical limits on the representation of information. Furthermore the common, but vague, characterization of free will as 'being able to act differently' is rephrased into an explicatum more suitable for formal analysis. It is argued that the mind is an ontologically open system; a causal high-level system, the dynamics of which cannot be reduced to the states of its associated low-level neural systems, not even if it is rendered physically closed. A positive answer to the question of free will for conscious agents is subsequently outlined.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

The Compatibility of Downward Causation and Emergence.Simone Gozzano - 2017 - In Francesco Orilia & Michele Paolini Paoletti (eds.), Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Downward Causation. New York, uSA: Routledge. pp. 296-312.
Emergent Agent Causation.Juan Morales - 2023 - Synthese 201:138.
Gottfried Leibniz [on Free Will].Julia Jorati - 2017 - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Free Will. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 293–302.
Emergence, Downward Causation, and Interlevel Integrative Explanations.Gil Santos - 2023 - In João L. Cordovil, Gil Santos & Davide Vecchi (eds.), New Mechanism Explanation, Emergence and Reduction. Springer. pp. 235-265.
How causal is downward causation?Menno Hulswit - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):261 - 287.
Event causation and agent causation.E. J. Lowe - 2001 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 61 (1):1-20.
Emergence and Reflexive Downward.John Symons - 2002 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 6 (1):183–201.
Free will and the burden of proof.William Lycan - 2003 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 107-122.


Added to PP

144 (#122,578)

6 months
144 (#19,726)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jan Scheffel
KTH Royal Institute Of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Facing up to the problem of consciousness.D. J. Chalmers - 1996 - Toward a Science of Consciousness:5-28.
The Illusion of Conscious Will.Daniel M. Wegner - 2002 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Strong and weak emergence.David J. Chalmers - 2006 - In Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.), The re-emergence of emergence: the emergentist hypothesis from science to religion. New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references