Is Free will Compatible with Scientiphicalism?

Peter Unger

in All the Power in the World

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195155617
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850563 | DOI:
Is Free will Compatible with Scientiphicalism?

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This chapter argues that Scientiphicalism is incompatible with our having a power really to choose. The most salient form for the Scientifically View is materialism, also known as physicalism. Recent objections to physicalism do not differ greatly from a certain aspect of the Cartesian paradigm. When it is this sort of incompatibility that is claimed, the conscious episodes in focus are purely passive events involving the experiencing subject. It is precisely this conflict with our really choosing that is such a huge problem for any materialistic philosophy. The chapter begins with a discussion on real choice, and then explores free will and determinism, real choice and inevitabilism, simple physical entities and their basic properties, reciprocal propensities and physical laws, objective probabilities, random happenings, an “infinitely deep hierarchy” of physical powers, physical conservation laws, radically self-directed power, and the relationship between natural law and real choice.

Keywords: Scientiphicalism; materialism; physicalism; free will; determinism; real choices; philosophy; inevitabilism; physical entities; physical laws

Chapter.  23770 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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