Free Will and Illusion

Paperback | June 6, 2002

bySaul Smilansky

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Saul Smilansky presents an original treatment of the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and human self-understanding. He maintains that we have most of the resources we need for a proper understanding of the problem; and the key to it is the role played by illusion. Themajor traditional philosophical approaches are inadequate, Smilansky argues: their partial insights need to be integrated into a hybrid view, which he calls Fundamental Dualism. Common views about justice, responsibility, human worth, and related notions are radically misguided, and the absurd loomslarge. We do, however, find some justification for enlightened moral views, and grounding for some of our most cherished views of human nature. The bold and perhaps disturbing claim of Free Will and Illusion is that we could not live adequately with a complete awareness of the truth about humanfreedom: illusion lies at the centre of the human condition. The necessity of illusion is seen to follow from the basic elements of the free will issue, helping keep our moral and psychological worlds intact. Smilansky offers the challenge of recognizing the centrality of illusion and trying to freeourselves to some extent from it; this is not only a philosophical challenge, but a moral and psychological one as well.

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Saul Smilansky presents an original treatment of the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and human self-understanding. He maintains that we have most of the resources we need for a proper understanding of the problem; and the key to it is the role played by illusion. Themajor traditional philosophical approaches a...

Saul Smilanksy is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Haifa, Israel.

other books by Saul Smilansky

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10 Moral Paradoxes

Paperback|Jun 18 2007

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.73 inPublished:June 6, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199252599

ISBN - 13:9780199252596

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction1 Metaphysics and Ethical Foundations2. The Core Conception3. Why Not Compatibilism?4. Why Not Libertarian Free Will?5. Why Not Hard Determinism?6. The Fundamental Dualism`II The Role of Illusion7. The Positive Importance of Illusion8. Explorations in the Land of Illusion9. Why Not Reactive-Naturalism?10. Some Further Benefits11. Some Additional Problems12. ConclusionReferences, Glossary, Index

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition I enjoyed this book. ... Smilansky shows a remarkable breadth of learning and an admirable ability to address what needs addressing without engaging in make-work projects.'Richard Double, Mind