http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCGtkDzELAI For a while, I'd considered myself done debating free will, having expressed everything about it I had to say. However, with this Crash Course video, and in light of the discussion on physicality we had earlier this summer, I realized I do have some additional thoughts on it. Just a quick reminder: I'm a compatibilist. I'm convinced … Continue reading Libertarian free will is incoherent, and that’s good for responsibility
A dialogue on compatibilism
Click through for the full version. see the rest at: A Dialogue on Compatibilism - Existential Comics. This edition of Existential Comics manages to summarize most of the free will debate. I especially like the discussion on libertarian free will on the second page. As a compatibilist myself, I've often said that libertarian free will is … Continue reading A dialogue on compatibilism
The number of senses, free will, and productive reality
Christian Jarrett has an interesting article at BBC Future on the number of senses that we have. The principle of five basic human senses is often traced back to Aristotle’s De Anima (On the Soul), in which he devotes a separate chapter to vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Today, the five senses are considered … Continue reading The number of senses, free will, and productive reality
Free will persists even if your brain made you do it
The free will debate has been going on for millenia and, like most philosophical debates, shows little chance of being settled anytime soon. A significant part of the debate is definitional: what do we mean when we say "free will." We can argue endlessly about what the term should mean, but it turns out that what most … Continue reading Free will persists even if your brain made you do it
People attribute free will to mind, not soul
Broadly speaking, there are two conceptions of free will. The first is libertarian free will, where one has metaphysical freedom from the laws of nature in making decisions. Libertarianism is usually understood to require mind-body dualism, in other words, a non-material soul. The second is compatibilist free will, which generally recognizes that thoughts arise from the brain … Continue reading People attribute free will to mind, not soul
Free will and determinism are separate issues
Jerry Coyne as a new post up on free will. One of the recurrent arguments made by free-will “compatibilists” (i.e., those who see free will as being compatible with physical determinism), is that those of us who are incompatibilists—in my case, I think people conceive of free will as reflecting a dualistic “ghost in the … Continue reading Free will and determinism are separate issues
Free will and the value of compatibilism
With the essays traded between Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris, free will is back in the web conversation. I wasn't planning on making another free will post myself, having been mostly satisfied with my previous statement on it. But I've had a few conversations lately, both here on the site and in some other mediums, that … Continue reading Free will and the value of compatibilism
Free will? Free of what?
The concept of free will is intimately tangled up with the idea of responsibility. Are you responsible for your actions? To what degree are your actions predetermined? If they are predetermined, how can we hold anyone accountable for their actions? Does the idea of moral responsibility even make sense? Libertarian free will The classic definition … Continue reading Free will? Free of what?