The Philosophy of Free Will: Essential Readings from the Contemporary Debates

Paperback | February 25, 2013

EditorPaul Russell, Oisin Deery

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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 andmay 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 andsearching arguments put forward by their critics and opponents. The papers collected in this volume represent the most essential and indispensible contributions to the contemporary debate. The specific topics covered include: moral luck, skepticism and naturalism, the consequence argument, alternate possibilities, libertarian metaphysics, compatibilism andreason-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, alongwith a number of younger scholars who have already had an impact and produced significant work.

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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 ...

Paul Russell is Professor in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. He has held research and teaching positions at several universities, including Cambridge; Virginia; Stanford; Pittsburgh; and North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His publications include Freedom and Moral Sentiment (1995) and The Riddle of Hume's Treatise (2008)....

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:560 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:February 25, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199733392

ISBN - 13:9780199733392

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. The Free Will Problem - Real or illusory?1. Thomas Nagel: Moral Luck2. Daniel Dennett: Please Don't Feed the BugbearsII. Naturalism Against Scepticism3. P. F. Strawson: Freedom and Resentment4. Gary Watson: Responsibility and the Limits of Evil: Variations on a Strawsonian ThemeIII. The Consequence Argument5. Peter van Inwagen: The Incompatibility of Free Will and Determinism6. Dana Nelkin: The Consequence Argument and the Mind ArgumentIV. Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities7. Harry Frankfurt: Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility8. Michael Otsuka: Incompatibilism and the Avoidability of Blame9. Kadri Vihvelin: Free Will Demystified: A Dispositional AccountV. Libertarian Alternatives - Soft and Hard10. Robert Kane: Responsibility, Luck and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Determinism11. Randolph Clarke: Towards a Credible Agent-Causal Account of Free Will12. Timothy O'Connor: Agent-Causal PowerVI. Compatibilism: Hierarchical Theories and Manipulation Problems13. Harry Frankfurt: Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person14. Richard Double: Puppeteers, Hypnotists, and NeurosurgeonsVII. Compatibilism: Reason-Based Alternatives15. Susan Wolf: Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility16. John M. Fischer: My CompatibilismVIII. Autonomy and History17. John Christman: Autonomy and Personal History18. Michael McKenna: Responsibility and Globally Manipulated AgentsIX. Scepticism, Illusionism and Revisionism19. Galen Strawson: The Impossibility of Ultimate Moral Responsibility20. Saul Smilansky: Free Will: From Nature to Illusion21. Manuel Vargas: How To Solve the Free Will ProblemX. Optimism, Pessimism and their Modes22. Derek Pereboom: Optimistic Skepticism about Free Will23. Paul Russell: Compatibilist-FatalismXI. The Phenomenology of Agency and Experimental Philosophy24. Benjamin Libet: Do We have Free Will?25. Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer and Jason Turner: The Phenomenology of Free Will26. Shaun Nichols and Joshua Knobe: Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions