The BCN challenge to compatibilist free will and personal responsibility

Neuroethics 3 (2):121-133 (2010)

M.m.s.k. Sie
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Arno Wouters
Utrecht University
Many philosophers ignore developments in the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences that purport to challenge our ideas of free will and responsibility. The reason for this is that the challenge is often framed as a denial of the idea that we are able to act differently than we do. However, most philosophers think that the ability to do otherwise is irrelevant to responsibility and free will. Rather it is our ability to act for reasons that is crucial. We argue that the scientific findings indicate that it is not so obvious that our views of free will and responsibility can be grounded in the ability to act for reasons without introducing metaphysical obscurities. This poses a challenge to philosophers. We draw the conclusion that philosophers are wrong not to address the recent scientific developments and that scientists are mistaken in formulating their challenge in terms of the freedom to do otherwise.
Keywords Compatibilism  Acting for reasons  Reasons-responsiveness  Personal responsibility  Free will  Determinism
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-009-9054-8
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The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.

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