Is Science Compatible With Free Will

Author by : Antoine Suarez
Languange : en
Publisher by : Springer Science & Business Media
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Description : Anyone who claims the right ‘to choose how to live their life’ excludes any purely deterministic description of their brain in terms of genes, chemicals or environmental influences. For example, when an author of a text expresses his thoughts, he assumes that, in typing the text, he governs the firing of the neurons in his brain and the movement of his fingers through the exercise of his own free will: what he writes is not completely pre-determined at the beginning of the universe. Yet in the field of neuroscience today, determinism dominates. There is a conflict between the daily life conviction that a human being has free will, and deterministic neuroscience. When faced with this conflict two alternative positions are possible: Either human freedom is an illusion, or deterministic neuroscience is not the last word on the brain and will eventually be superseded by a neuroscience that admits processes not completely determined by the past. This book investigates whether it is possible to have a science in which there is room for human freedom. The book generally concludes that the world and the brain are governed to some extent by non-material agencies, and limited consciousness does not abolish free will and responsibility. The authors present perspectives coming from different disciplines (Neuroscience, Quantumphysics and Philosophy) and range from those focusing on the scientific background, to those highlighting rather more a philosophical analysis. However, all chapters share a common characteristic: they take current scientific observations and data as a basis from which to draw philosophical implications. It is these features that make this volume unique, an exceptional interdisciplinary approach combining scientific strength and philosophical profundity. We are convinced that it will strongly stimulate the debate and contribute to new insights in the mind-brain relationship. ​


Free

Author by : Alfred R. Mele
Languange : en
Publisher by : Oxford University Press, USA
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Description : "Scientists have forged a penetrating, coherent course in the study of human thought and action. Yet some of the same scientists have slashed out an adjacent, rough-hewn path, cutting at the roots of the belief in free will and at the groundwork of relationships among the conscious will, the mind, and the brain. Claiming to disprove the existence of free will is not only wrongheaded, Mele argues, but harmful; research shows that people who don't believe they are free are more likely to behave badly, as they sink into feeling like they aren't responsible for their actions. Putting a positive spin on this, Mele conveys what he calls the 'good news' that we are freer than we think. If we see ourselves as morally responsible for our future actions, we can begin to view ourselves as having abilities and capacities that give us considerable control over what we do. Mele takes apart the findings of neuroscience and psychology experiments often cited as irrefutably disproving the existence of free will, for example those of Benjamin Libet, and demonstrates that their results have been misinterpreted. Mele explains why the experimental findings are actually consistent with our making many of our decisions consciously and with our having considerable control over many of our decisions and actions. In order to find truth and clarity on this crucial topic, Mele argues, philosophers, scientists, and psychologists alike need to explore one another's work rather than relying on scientific findings - and a rigid interpretation of those findings- as the only key to solving the complex puzzle that is free will"--


Free Will

Author by : Meghan Griffith
Languange : en
Publisher by : Routledge
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Description : The question of whether humans are free to make their own decisions has long been debated and it continues to be a controversial topic today. In Free Will: The Basics readers are provided with a clear and accessible introduction to this central but challenging philosophical problem. The questions which are discussed include: Does free will exist? Or is it illusory? Can we be free even if everything is determined by a chain of causes? If our actions are not determined, does this mean they are just random or a matter of luck? In order to have the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility, must we have alternatives? What can recent developments in science tell us about the existence of free will? Because these questions are discussed without prejudicing one view over others and all technical terminology is clearly explained, this book is an ideal introduction to free will for the uninitiated.


The Oxford Handbook Of Free Will

Author by : Robert Kane
Languange : en
Publisher by : OUP USA
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Description : A guide to current work on free will and related subjects, the focus is on writings of the past 40 years, in which there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional issues about the freedom of the will in the light of new developments in the sciences, philosophy and humanistic studies.


Free Will

Author by : Sam Harris
Languange : en
Publisher by : Simon and Schuster
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Description : A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.


Free Will And The Human Sciences In Britain 1870 1910

Author by : Roger Smith
Languange : en
Publisher by : Routledge
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Description : Smith takes an in-depth look at the question of free will through the prism of different disciplines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


The Illusion Of Determinism

Author by : Edwin A. Locke
Languange : en
Publisher by : Bookbaby
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Description : This book shows that the theory of determinism, the doctrine that everything we believe, feel or do is determined by forces outside our control, is false (and actually self contradictory). The book shows that free will is self caused and involves the choice to use our rational faculty or not. Experiments that claim to prove determinism are refuted. The "libertarian" view that free will is based on randomness is also show to be fallacious. A distinction is made between what free will entails and what its limits are. The book shows that determinists' scorn for people who believe in free will (calling this view "folk psychology" based on ignorance) is misguided. It is determinists who are victims of a false view of human nature.


Free Will And Determinism

Author by : Clifford Williams
Languange : en
Publisher by : Hackett Publishing
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Description : "Nicely conceived, very clearly written. . . . A high level of philosophic substance and sophistication." --David M. Mowry, SUNY at Plattsburgh


Free Will Consciousness And Self

Author by : Preben Bertelsen
Languange : en
Publisher by : Berghahn Books
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Description : What is it to be human? How do we relate to the world, to each other and to our self in a human - in everyday life and when faced with life's big questions? In this book, the author develops a general theoretical model that might be able to offer a better understanding of the human condition and of the underlying principles of human behavior. The author shows that general psychology, bridging the natural sciences and the social sciences, can make a significant contribution to a general anthropology.


Quantum Nonlocality

Author by : Lev Vaidman
Languange : en
Publisher by : MDPI
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Description : This book presents the current views of leading physicists on the bizarre property of quantum theory: nonlocality. Einstein viewed this theory as “spooky action at a distance” which, together with randomness, resulted in him being unable to accept quantum theory. The contributions in the book describe, in detail, the bizarre aspects of nonlocality, such as Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen steering and quantum teleportation—a phenomenon which cannot be explained in the framework of classical physics, due its foundations in quantum entanglement. The contributions describe the role of nonlocality in the rapidly developing field of quantum information. Nonlocal quantum effects in various systems, from solid-state quantum devices to organic molecules in proteins, are discussed. The most surprising papers in this book challenge the concept of the nonlocality of Nature, and look for possible modifications, extensions, and new formulations—from retrocausality to novel types of multiple-world theories. These attempts have not yet been fully successful, but they provide hope for modifying quantum theory according to Einstein’s vision.


Just Deserts

Author by : Daniel C. Dennett
Languange : en
Publisher by : Polity
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Description : Some thinkers argue that our best scientific theories about the world prove that free will is an illusion. Others disagree. The concept of free will is profoundly important to our self-understanding, our interpersonal relationships, and our moral and legal practices. If it turns out that no one is ever free and morally responsible, what would that mean for society, morality, meaning, and the law? Just Deserts brings together two philosophers – Daniel C. Dennett and Gregg D. Caruso – to debate their respective views on free will, moral responsibility, and legal punishment. In three extended conversations, Dennett and Caruso present their arguments for and against the existence of free will and debate their implications. Dennett argues that the kind of free will required for moral responsibility is compatible with determinism – for him, self-control is key; we are not responsible for becoming responsible, but are responsible for staying responsible, for keeping would-be puppeteers at bay. Caruso takes the opposite view, arguing that who we are and what we do is ultimately the result of factors beyond our control, and because of this we are never morally responsible for our actions in the sense that would make us truly deserving of blame and praise, punishment and reward. These two leading thinkers introduce the concepts central to the debate about free will and moral responsibility by way of an entertaining, rigorous and sometimes heated philosophical dialogue. What emerges is a clear account of the latest thinking on free will, and what is at stake for our moral and legal practices.


The Philosophy Of Free Will

Author by : Paul Russell
Languange : en
Publisher by : Oxford University Press
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Description : The problem of free will is one of the great perennial issues of philosophy and has been discussed and debated over many centuries. The issues that arise in this sphere cover both metaphysics and morals and concern matters of central importance not only for philosophy but also for law, theology, psychology and the social sciences. What is at stake here is nothing less than our self-image as responsible moral agents who are in control of our own destiny and fate. The investigations and findings of modern science are judged by many to put skeptical pressure on this self-image and may challenge its credibility. During the past few decades the free will controversy has developed and evolved in exciting and significant ways. All the major parties involved in this debate have had to revise and amend their core positions with a view to responding to the sophisticated and searching arguments put forward by their critics and opponents. The papers collected in this volume represent the most essential and indispensable contributions to the contemporary debate. The specific topics covered include: moral luck, skepticism and naturalism, the consequence argument, alternate possibilities, libertarian metaphysics, compatibilism and reason-responsive theories, illusionism and revisionism, optimism and pessimism, and the phenomenology of agency, as well as contributions relating to neuroscience and experimental philosophy. The collection is arranged in a way that presents the topics covered in a structured and organized manner. The general aim is to provide an effective guide for students and readers who are new to the field, as well as a useful collection for those who are already familiar with the topics and contributions. The contributors include many of the leading and most distinguished figures in the field, along with a number of younger scholars who have already had an impact and produced significant work.


The Significance Of Free Will

Author by : Robert Kane
Languange : en
Publisher by : Oxford University Press
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Description : Robert Kane provides a critical overview of debates about free will of the past half century, relating this recent inquiry to the broader history of the free will issue and to vital currents of twentieth century thought. Kane also defends a traditional libertarian or incompatibilist view of free will (one that insists upon the incompatibility of free will and determinism), employing arguments that are both new to philosophy and that respond to contemporary developments in physics and biology, neuro science, and the cognitive and behavioral sciences.


Paradoxes Of Free Will

Author by : Gunther Siegmund Stent
Languange : en
Publisher by : American Philosophical Society
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Description : Driving human reason too far in the analysis of deep problems often leads to irresolvable inconsistencies and contradictions. In this 2002 J.F. Lewis Award-winning monograph, Gunther Stent traces the origins and development of the paradoxes of free will in this well-crafted introduction to philosophical debates regarding freedom of will. Free will poses one of the oldest and most vexatious philosophical problems, dating back to the beginnings of moral philosophy in ancient Greece. Pure theoretical reason implies that our actions are determined, while practical theoretical reason tells us that our will is free. Stent examines the arguments of moral responsibility versus determinism, from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant, Niels Bohr, and Max Planck.


Determinism And Free Will

Author by : Fabio Scardigli
Languange : en
Publisher by : Springer
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Description : In this small book, theoretical physicist Gerard 't Hooft (Nobel prize 1999), philosopher Emanuele Severino (Lincei Academician), and theologian Piero Coda (Pontifical Lateran University) confront one another on a topic that lies at the roots of quantum mechanics and at the origin of Western thought: Determinism and Free Will. "God does not play dice" said Einstein, a tenacious determinist. Quantum Mechanics and its clash with General Relativity have reanimated ancient dilemmas about chance and necessity: Is Nature deterministic? Is Man free? The “free-will theorem” by Conway and Kochen, and the deterministic interpretation of quantum mechanics proposed by 't Hooft, revive such philosophical questions in modern Physics. Is Becoming real? Is the Elementary Event a product of the Case? The cyclopean clash between Heraclitus and Parmenides has entered a new episode, as evidenced by the essays in this volume.


Cognitive Science

Author by : Jay Friedenberg
Languange : en
Publisher by : SAGE
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Description : This landmark text introduces the novice reader to what great thinkers think about thought. Unlike most texts, authors Jay Friedenberg and Gordon Silverman use a theoretical, rather than empirical, approach to examine the most important theories of mind from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. While experiments are discussed, they are used primarily to illustrate the specific characteristics of a model.


Rationality Consciousness Free Will

Author by : David Hodgson
Languange : en
Publisher by : Oxford University Press
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Description : In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways that are not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things. Praise for David Hodgson's previous work, The Mind Matters "magisterial...It is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear, straightforward, accessible prose." --Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement "an excellent contribution to the literature. It is well written, authoritative, and wonderfully wide-ranging. ... This account of quantum theory ... will surely be of great value. ... On the front cover of the paper edition of this book Paul Davies is quoted as saying that this is "a truly splendid and provocative book". In writing this review I have allowed myself to be provoked, but I am happy to close by giving my endorsement to this verdict in its entirety!" --Euan Squires, Journal of Consciousness Studies "well argued and extremely important book." --Sheena Meredith, New Scientist "His reconstructions and explanations are always concise and clear." --Jeffrey A Barrett, The Philosophical Review "In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading." --J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford


Freewill And Determinism

Author by : R L Franklin
Languange : en
Publisher by : Taylor & Francis
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Description : This book, first published in 1968, examines the complicated issues which surround the problem of freewill. Although it reaches a libertarian conclusion, its focus is largely on other questions. What ultimately is at stake in this debate? What difference would it make whether we had freewill or not? Why must disagreement persist, and why do philosophes each opposed conclusions with such confidence? The answers to these questions open new perspectives.


The Problem Of Free Will

Author by : Mathew Iredale
Languange : en
Publisher by : Routledge
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Description : Do we really have freedom to act, or are we slaves to our genes, environment or culture? Regular TPM columnist Mathew Iredale gets to grips with one of the most intractable issues in philosophy: the problem of free will. Iredale explores what it is about the free will problem that makes it so hard to resolve and argues that the only acceptable solution to the free will problem must be one that is consistent with what science tells us about the world. It is here, maintains Iredale, that too many works on free will, introductory or otherwise, fall down, by focusing only on how free will relates to determinism. Iredale shows that there are clear areas of scientific research which are directly and significantly relevant to free will in a way that does not involve determinism. Although these areas of scientific research do not allow us to solve the problem, they do allow us to separate the more plausible ideas concerning free will from the less plausible.


Are We Free Psychology And Free Will

Author by : John Baer
Languange : en
Publisher by : Oxford University Press
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Description : Do people have free will, or this universal belief an illusion? If free will is more than an illusion, what kind of free will do people have? How can free will influence behavior? Can free will be studied, verified, and understood scientifically? How and why might a sense of free will have evolved? These are a few of the questions this book attempts to answer. People generally act as though they believe in their own free will: they don't feel like automatons, and they don't treat one another as they might treat robots. While acknowledging many constraints and influences on behavior, people nonetheless act as if they (and their neighbors) are largely in control of many if not most of the decisions they make. Belief in free will also underpins the sense that people are responsible for their actions. Psychological explanations of behavior rarely mention free will as a factor, however. Can psychological science find room for free will? How do leading psychologists conceptualize free will, and what role do they believe free will plays in shaping behavior? In recent years a number of psychologists have tried to solve one or more of the puzzles surrounding free will. This book looks both at recent experimental and theoretical work directly related to free will and at ways leading psychologists from all branches of psychology deal with the philosophical problems long associated with the question of free will, such as the relationship between determinism and free will and the importance of consciousness in free will. It also includes commentaries by leading philosophers on what psychologists can contribute to long-running philosophical struggles with this most distinctly human belief. These essays should be of interest not only to social scientists, but to intelligent and thoughtful readers everywhere.


The Routledge Companion To Free Will

Author by : Kevin Timpe
Languange : en
Publisher by : Routledge
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Description : Questions concerning free will are intertwined with issues in almost every area of philosophy, from metaphysics to philosophy of mind to moral philosophy, and are also informed by work in different areas of science (principally physics, neuroscience and social psychology). Free will is also a perennial concern of serious thinkers in theology and in non-western traditions. Because free will can be approached from so many different perspectives and has implications for so many debates, a comprehensive survey needs to encompass an enormous range of approaches. This book is the first to draw together leading experts on every aspect of free will, from those who are central to the current philosophical debates, to non-western perspectives, to scientific contributions and to those who know the rich history of the subject. Its 61 chapters, commissioned especially for this volume from the world’s leading researchers, are framed by a General Introduction and briefer introductions for each of the six sections. A list of References, an annotated Suggested Reading list, and a short list of Related Topics are included at the end of each chapter.


A Dialogue On Free Will And Science

Author by : Alfred R. Mele
Languange : en
Publisher by : OUP USA
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Description : A Dialogue on Free Will and Science is a brief and intriguing book discussing the scientific challenges of free will. Presented through a dialogue, the format allows ideas to emerge and be clarified and then evaluated in a natural way. Engaging and accessible, it offers students a compelling look at free will and science.


Science And Free Will

Author by : Sam Shipley
Languange : en
Publisher by : WestBow Press
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Description : Christ, not free will, will break the chains of bondage. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 Do you want to know the real reason you chose your wife or husband, university, job, etc? Neuroscience is proving that 95 percent of the decisions concerning all that we think, do, or speak are decisions made by our subconscious minds. A part of this proof is the scientific declaration that unless a decision is consciously made, it can’t be a free will decision. This is a modern update of Sigmund Freud’s discoveries that the subconscious mind is the “kitchen” where everything is cooked up and stored and waiting for an opportunity to tell our conscious minds what to do. Our conscious behavior and mind is dictated by our unconscious kitchen. This book offers a unique approach in combining science with sola scriptural discipline of Bible interpretation. Its primary theme is to dispute the veracity of free will and its centuries old use and provide a reason for why it refuses to die. “Much of what we do every minute of every day is unconscious. Life would be chaos if everything were on the forefront of our consciousness.” —Paul Whelan, neuroscientist. “There is nothing that you do, there is no thought that you have, there is no awareness, there is no lack of awareness, there is nothing that marks your daily existence that doesn’t have a neuro code... .” —Clinton Kilts, professor in the Department of Phychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University. “But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do... .” In Romans 7:16, Paul establishes the biblical proof of the existence of our subconscious minds telling us what to do.


Why Free Will Is Real

Author by : Christian List
Languange : en
Publisher by : Harvard University Press
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Description : Many scientists and scientifically-minded philosophers are skeptical that free will exists. In clear, scientifically rigorous terms, Christian List explains that free will is like other real phenomena that emerge from physical laws but are autonomous from them—like an ecosystem or the economy—and are indispensable for explaining our world.


Free Will And Responsibility

Author by : John S. Callender
Languange : en
Publisher by : Oxford University Press
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Description : intuitive sense of freedom be reconciled with causal determinism? How can moral judgment and punishment be compatible with the belief that the events that are human actions are, like any other event, the effects of prior causes? --


Elbow Room New Edition

Author by : Daniel C. Dennett
Languange : en
Publisher by : MIT Press
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Description : A landmark book in the debate over free will that makes the case for compatibilism. In this landmark 1984 work on free will, Daniel Dennett makes a case for compatibilism. His aim, as he writes in the preface to this new edition, was a cleanup job, “saving everything that mattered about the everyday concept of free will, while jettisoning the impediments.” In Elbow Room, Dennett argues that the varieties of free will worth wanting—those that underwrite moral and artistic responsibility—are not threatened by advances in science but distinguished, explained, and justified in detail. Dennett tackles the question of free will in a highly original and witty manner, drawing on the theories and concepts of fields that range from physics and evolutionary biology to engineering, automata theory, and artificial intelligence. He shows how the classical formulations of the problem in philosophy depend on misuses of imagination, and he disentangles the philosophical problems of real interest from the “family of anxieties” in which they are often enmeshed—imaginary agents and bogeymen, including the Peremptory Puppeteer, the Nefarious Neurosurgeon, and the Cosmic Child Whose Dolls We Are. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too. He explores reason, control and self-control, the meaning of “can” and “could have done otherwise,” responsibility and punishment, and why we would want free will in the first place. A fresh reading of Dennett's book shows how much it can still contribute to current discussions of free will. This edition includes as its afterword Dennett's 2012 Erasmus Prize essay.


Carving Nature At Its Joints

Author by : Joseph Keim Campbell
Languange : en
Publisher by : MIT Press
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Description : Reflections on the metaphysics and epistemology of classification from a distinguished group of philosophers. Contemporary discussions of the success of science often invoke an ancient metaphor from Plato's Phaedrus: successful theories should "carve nature at its joints." But is nature really "jointed"? Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification. The contributors consider such topics as the relevance of natural kinds in inductive inference; the role of natural kinds in natural laws; the nature of fundamental properties; the naturalness of boundaries; the metaphysics and epistemology of biological kinds; and the relevance of biological kinds to certain questions in ethics. Carving Nature at Its Joints offers both breadth and thematic unity, providing a sampling of state-of-the-art work in contemporary analytic philosophy that will be of interest to a wide audience of scholars and students concerned with classification.


The Dictionary Of Psychology

Author by : Mike Cardwell
Languange : en
Publisher by : Taylor & Francis
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Description : "First published 1996 in the United Kingdom by Hodder and Stoughton Educational as'The complete A-Z psychology handbook'"--T.p. verso.


Quantum Physics Meets The Philosophy Of Mind

Author by : Antonella Corradini
Languange : en
Publisher by : Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
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Total Read : 48
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Description : Quantum physics, in contrast to classical physics, allows non-locality and indeterminism in nature. Moreover, the role of the observer seems indispensable in quantum physics. In fact, quantum physics, unlike classical physics, suggests a metaphysics that is not physicalism (which is today’s official metaphysical doctrine). As is well known, physicalism implies a reductive position in the philosophy of mind, specifically in its two core areas, the philosophy of consciousness and the philosophy of action. Quantum physics, in contrast, is compatible with psychological non-reductionism, and actually seems to support it. The essays in this book explore, from various points of view, the possibilities of basing a non-reductive philosophy of mind on quantum physics. In doing so, they not only engage with the ontological and epistemological aspects of the question but also with the neurophysiological ones.


Divine Omniscience And Human Free Will

Author by : Ciro De Florio
Languange : en
Publisher by : Springer Nature
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Description : This book deals with an old conundrum: if God knows what we will choose tomorrow, how can we be free to choose otherwise? If all our choices are already written, is our freedom simply an illusion? This book provides a precise analysis of this dilemma using the tools of modern metaphysics and logic of time. With a focus on three intertwined concepts - God’s nature, the formal structure of time, and the metaphysics time, including the relationship between temporal entities and a timeless God - the chapters analyse various solutions to the problem of foreknowledge and freedom, revealing the advantages and drawbacks of each. Building on this analysis, the authors advance constructive solutions, showing under what conditions an entity can be omniscient in the presence of free agents, and whether an eternal entity can know the tensed futures of the world. The metaphysics of time, its topology and the semantics of future tensed sentences are shown to be invaluable topics in dealing with this issue. Combining investigations into the metaphysics of time with the discipline of temporal logic this monograph brings about important advancements in the philosophical understanding of an ancient and fascinating problem. The answer, if any, is hidden in the folds of time, in the elusive nature of this feature of reality and in the infinite branching of our lives.