Description : If the mind and the world are entirely governed by natural laws, there seems to be no room left for free will to operate. In this BIT, Steven Horst offers an account of laws that is compatible with claims for libertarian free will. He argues that one can embrace the truth of individual laws, or indeed any set of such laws, without any implication of determinism, because the idealization conditions of each law are essentially open-ended.
Description : An account of scientific laws that vindicates the status of psychological laws and shows natural laws to be compatible with free will. In Laws, Mind, and Free Will, Steven Horst addresses the apparent dissonance between the picture of the natural world that arises from the sciences and our understanding of ourselves as agents who think and act. If the mind and the world are entirely governed by natural laws, there seems to be no room left for free will to operate. Moreover, although the laws of physical science are clear and verifiable, the sciences of the mind seem to yield only rough generalizations rather than universal laws of nature. Horst argues that these two familiar problems in philosophy--the apparent tension between free will and natural law and the absence of "strict" laws in the sciences of the mind--are artifacts of a particular philosophical thesis about the nature of laws: that laws make claims about how objects actually behave. Horst argues against this Empiricist orthodoxy and proposes an alternative account of laws--an account rooted in a cognitivist approach to philosophy of science. Horst argues that once we abandon the Empiricist misunderstandings of the nature of laws there is no contrast between "strict" laws and generalizations about the mind ("ceteris paribus" laws, laws hedged by the caveat "other things being equal"), and that a commitment to laws is compatible with a commitment to the existence of free will. Horst's alternative account, which he calls "cognitive Pluralism," vindicates the truth of psychological laws and resolves the tension between human freedom and the sciences.
Description : Richard Swinburne presents a powerful case for substance dualism and libertarian free will. He argues that pure mental and physical events are distinct, and defends an account of agent causation in which the soul can act independently of bodily causes. We are responsible for our actions, and the findings of neuroscience cannot prove otherwise.
Description : This book was first published in 1978. Anthony Kenny, one of the most distinguished philosophers in England, explores the notion of responsibility and the precise place of the mental element in criminal actions.
Description : This second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Free Will is intended to be a sourcebook and guide to current work on free will and related subjects. Its focus is on writings of the past forty 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. Special attention is given to research on free will of the first decade of the twenty-first century since the publication of the first edition of the Handbook. All the essays have been newly written or rewritten for this volume. In addition, there are new essayists and essays surveying topics that have become prominent in debates about free will in the past decade, including new work on the relation of free will to physics, the neurosciences, cognitive science, psychology and empirical philosophy, new versions of traditional views (compatibilist, incompatibilist, libertarian, etc.) and new views (e.g., revisionism) that have emerged. The twenty-eight essays by prominent international scholars and younger scholars cover a host of free will related issues, such as moral agency and responsibility, accountability and blameworthiness in ethics, autonomy, coercion and control in social theory, criminal liability, responsibility and punishment in legal theory, issues about the relation of mind to body, consciousness and the nature of action in philosophy of mind and the cognitive and neurosciences, questions about divine foreknowledge, providence and human freedom in philosophy of religion, and general metaphysical questions about necessity and possibility, determinism, time and chance, quantum reality, causation and explanation.
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.
Description : The prevailing orthodoxy in brain science is that since physical laws govern our physical brains, physical laws therefore govern our behaviour and even our conscious selves. Free will is meaningless, goes the mantra; we live in a 'determined' world. Not so, argues the renowned neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga as he explains how the mind, 'constrains' the brain just as cars are constrained by the traffic they create. Writing with what Steven Pinker has called 'his trademark wit and lack of pretension,' Gazzaniga ranges across neuroscience, psychology and ethics to show how incorrect it is to blame our brains for our behaviour. Even given the latest insights into the physical mechanisms of the mind, he explains, we are responsible agents who should be held accountable for our actions, because responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains. An extraordinary book, combining a light touch with profound implications, Who's in Charge? is a lasting contribution from one of the leading thinkers of our time.
Description : This book rescues compatibilists from the familiar charge of 'quagmire of evasion' by arguing that the problem of free will and determinism is a metaphysical problem with a metaphysical solution. There is no good reason to think that determinism would rob us of the free will we think we have.
Description : We are living in two worlds: the physical world of matter, forces, and motions and the mental world of ideas, impressions, and emotions. The aim of this books ten essays is to explore the world of the mind. It is a world claimed to be supernatural, but rational justifications, supported by scientific investigations, demonstrate that it is of our natural world. Once the mind is rationally explained in terms of the brains functionalities, then it becomes possible to answer far-reaching existential questions: Why do I exist? What is life? What happens when I die? Be warned: this book isnt an easy read. Each essay is a step upward into the unfamiliar and unconventional, requiring effort, patience, and above all a mind that tolerates the extraordinary.
Description : What is the place of human free will in our lives if all our actions are the result of some other cause? Does our processing unconscious beliefs or desires make us less free? Is our free will necessarily restricted if we do not choose our own beliefs? The debate between free will and its opposing doctrine, determinism, is one of the key issues in philosophy. Free Will: An historical and philosophical introduction provides a comprehensive introduction to this highly important question and examines the contributions made by sixteen of the most outstanding thinkers from the time of early Greece to the twentieth century: *Homer *Sophocles *Platto *Aristotle *St Augustine *St Thomas Aquinas *Descaartes *Spinoza *Hume *Kant *Schopehauer *Freud *Sartre *Weil *Wittgenstein *Moore Ilham Dilman brings together all the dimensions of the problem of free will with examples from literature, ethics and psychoanalysis. Drawing out valuable insights from both sides of the free will-determinism divide, and he provides an accessible and highly readable introduction to this perennial problem.