An Emergentist's Perspective on the Problem of Free Will

Achim Stephan

in Emergence in Mind

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583621
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723483 | DOI:

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

An Emergentist's Perspective on the Problem of Free Will

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Many problems that have been discussed in the philosophy of mind have been discussed from an emergentist's perspective. But there is little consideration, if any, of the problem of free will. This chapter aims to shed some new light on this old problem by approaching it from the perspective of emergentism, where both diachronic and synchronic aspects will play a role. Leading questions are, for example, whether or not the capacity of having a free will can be reductively explained, or whether the ‘emergence’ of this capacity could have been predicted, in principle. To reflect on these questions one has to distinguish various explications of what the capacity of having a free will really is.

Keywords: free will; mental causation; qualia; libertarianism; campatibilism; hard determinism; synchronic emergence; diachronic emergence

Chapter.  7732 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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