Book

Surrounding Free Will

Edited by Alfred R. Mele

Published in print November 2014 | ISBN: 9780199333950
Published online November 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199393848 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333950.001.0001
Surrounding Free Will

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This volume explores free will from several perspectives: neuroscience; social, cognitive, and developmental psychology; and philosophy (traditional and experimental). It divides into three main units. The psychology and experimental philosophy unit explores how children conceive of free will and how their concept of free will develops, how to measure belief in free will, behavioral effects of lowered or raised confidence in the existence of free will, folk concepts of free will and moral responsibility, and controlled studies of our capacities for things closely associated with free will—for example, capacities to resist temptation. The neuroscience unit discusses various scientific approaches to studying free will and their bearing on philosophical disputes about the nature of free will, brain processes underlying decisions, how the conscious experience of voluntary action might contribute to the neural control of behavior, the causal roles of conscious processes, neural differences between choosing and arbitrary picking, unconscious intentions, change of intention in very short time frames, the time at which proximal decisions are made, and the connection between that time and what people report to be the time at issue. The philosophy unit examines the relevance of studies of decision making in monkeys to human free will, whether determinism is compatible with free will, the bearing of theories of causation on this question about compatibility, arguments for incompatibility that appeal to an “ultimacy” requirement for free will, the nature of willing, the nature of moral responsibility, and blameworthiness for negligent actions and unwitting omissions.

Keywords: beliefs; causation; choices; control; decisions; determinism; free will; folk concepts; intentions; moral responsibility

Book.  352 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Surrounding Free Will

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Free Will in Surrounding Free Will

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