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5.4a. Free Will and Science (Free Will and Science on PhilPapers)

Stent, Gunther S. (2002). Paradoxes of Free Will. American Philosophical Society.   (Google)
Stoica, Ovidiu Cristinel, Convergence and free-will.   (Google)
Abstract: If our mind is just an algorithm running on a flesh hardware, then it seems that there is no place for the free-will. An algorithm decides everything based on deterministic computations, or on random inputs, but neither inevitability nor pure hazard is free choice. Hopefully, some day, Science will be able to understand, monitor and simulate all the mind processes. Even then, it will still be a possibility for the free-will to exist, based on the convergence of the initial data. I propose a crucial experiment to test this hypothesis

5.4a.1 Free Will and Genetics

Greenspan, Patricia S. (1993). Free will and the genome project. Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (1):31-43.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Popular and scientific accounts of the U.S. Human Genome Project often express concern about the implications of the project for the philosophic question of free will and responsibility. However, on its standard construal within philosophy, the question of free will versus determinism poses no special problems in relation to genetic research. The paper identifies a variant version of the free will question, free will versus internal constraint, that might well pose a threat to notions of individual autonomy and virtue in connection with genetic research. Whether it does depends on the extent to which the genetic basis for behavior turns on behavioral incapacities
Greenspan, Patricia S. (ms). Free will and genetic determinism: Locating the problem(s).   (Google)
Abstract: I was led to this clarificatory job initially by some puzzlement from a philosopher's standpoint about just why free will questions should come up particularly in connection with the genome project, as opposed to the many other scientific research programs that presuppose determinism. The philosophic concept of determinism involves explanation of all events, including human action, by prior causal factors--so that whether or not human behavior has a genetic basis, it ultimately gets traced back to _something_ true of the world before our birth. The philosophic problem of free will and determinism arises because this seems to undercut moral responsibility: How can we reasonably be held responsible for something whose causes we couldn't control?
Greenspan, Patricia S. (2001). Genes, electrotransmitters, and free will. In Patricia S. Greenspan, David Wasserman & Robert Wachbroit (eds.), Genetics and Criminal Behavior: Methods, Meanings, and Morals. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: There seems to be evidence of a genetic component in criminal behavior. It is widely agreed not to be "deterministic"--by which discussions outside philosophy seem to mean that by itself it is not sufficient to determine behavior. Environmental factors make a decisive difference--for that matter, there are nongenetic biological factors--in whether and how genetic
Lipton, Peter (2004). Genetic and Generic Determinism: A New Threat to Free Will? In D. Rees & Steven P. R. Rose (eds.), The New Brain Sciences: Perils and Prospects. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: We are discovering more and more about the human genotypes and about the connections between genotype and behaviour. Do these advances in genetic information threaten our free will? This paper offers a philosopher’s perspective on the question
Young, Garry (2007). Igniting the flicker of freedom: Revisiting the Frankfurt scenario. Philosophia 35 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper aims to challenge the view that the sign present in many Frankfurt-style scenarios is insufficiently robust to constitute evidence for the possibility of an alternate decision, and therefore inadequate as a means of determining moral responsibility. I have amended Frankfurt’s original scenario, so as to allow Jones, as well as Black, the opportunity to monitor his (Jones’s) own inclination towards a particular decision (the sign). Different outcome possibilities are presented, to the effect that Jones’s awareness of his own inclinations leads to the conclusion that the sign must be either (a) a prior determinate of the decision about to be made, (b) prior and indeterminate (therefore allowing for a contra-inclination decision to be made), or (c) constitutive of a decision that Jones has made but is not yet aware of. In effect, this means that, prior to the intervention of Black, Jones must have decided to do otherwise or could have so decided. Either way, although Frankfurt’s conclusion, that Jones could not have done other than he did, is upheld, the idea that he could not have decided otherwise must be rejected, and with it the view that the sign is nothing more than a flicker of freedom insufficient for assigning morally responsibility

5.4a.2 Free Will and Neuroscience

Alavi, Roksana (2005). Robert Kane, free will, and neuro-indeterminism. Philo 8 (2):95-108.   (Google)
Anderson, Joel (2007). Introduction: Free will, neuroscience, and the participant perspective. Philosophical Explorations 10 (1):3 – 11.   (Google)
Andrews, Kristin (2003). Neurophilosophy of free will: From libertarian illusions to a concept of natural autonomy by Henrik Walter. Philo 6 (1):166-175.   (Google)
Balaguer, Mark (2010). Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem. Mit Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Introduction -- Formulating the problem of free will -- The old formulation of the problem of free will -- Compatibilism and the rejection of an intermediate formulation of the problem of free will -- The final (or a new-and-improved) formulation of the problem of free will -- Some remarks on libertarianism -- Synopsis of the book -- Why the compatibilism issue and the conceptual-analysis issue are metaphysically irrelevant -- What determines whether an answer to the what-is-free-will question is correct -- Why the what-is-free-will question is irrelevant to the do-we-have-free-will -- Question, assuming the OL view is correct -- Why the what-is-free-will question is irrelevant to the do-we-have-free-will -- Question, even if the OL view isn't correct -- The which-kinds-of-freedom-do-we-have question -- The coherence question -- The moral responsibility question (and the issue of what's worth wanting) -- Generalizing the argument -- Why the compatibilism question reduces to the what-is-free-will question -- Where we stand and where we're going next -- An aside : some remarks on the what-is-free-will question, the compatibilism question, and the moral responsibility question -- The what-is-free-will question and the compatibilism question -- The moral responsibility question -- Why the libertarian question reduces to the issue of indeterminacy -- Preliminaries -- Torn decisions -- Indeterminacy -- Appropriate non-randomness -- The argument -- If our torn decisions are undetermined, then we author and control them -- The argument from token-token identity -- The argument from phenomenology -- Objections -- Why TDW-indeterminism increases or procures authorship and control -- Why this sort of L-freedom is worth wanting -- If our torn decisions are undetermined, then they are sufficiently rational to be L-free -- Plural authorship, control, and rationality non-torn decisions -- Where we stand -- Why there are no good arguments for or against determinism (or any other thesis that would establish or refute libertarianism)? -- An a priori argument for determinism (and, hence, against TDW-indeterminism) -- An a priori argument for libertarianism (and, hence, in favor of TDW-ndeterminism) -- Empirical arguments -- Arguments for universal determinism -- Arguments for macro-level determinism or virtual macro-level determinism -- Arguments for neural determinism or virtual neural determinism -- Arguments for torn-decision determinism, or for virtual torn-decision -- Determinism or against TDW-indeterminism -- The argument from Tegmark's work -- The argument from Libet's work -- Arguments from psychology -- Where we stand.
Banks, William P. & Pockett, Susan (2007). Benjamin Libet's work on the neuroscience of free will. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.   (Google)
Batthyany, Alexander (2009). Mental Causation and Free Will after Libet and Soon: Reclaiming Conscious Agency. In Alexander Batthyany & Avshalom Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious. Selected Papers on Consciousness. Winter.   (Google)
Abstract: There are numerous theoretical reasons which are usually said to undermine the case for mental causation. But in recent years, Libet‘s experiment on readiness potentials (Libet, Wright, and Gleason 1982; Libet, Gleason, Wright, and Pearl 1983), and a more recent replication by a research team led by John Dylan Haynes (Soon, C.S., Brass, M., Heinze, H.J., and Haynes, J.-D. [2008]) are often singled out because they appear to demonstrate empirically that consciousness is not causally involved in our choices and actions. In this paper, an alternative interpretation of these studies is offered; one which is in accordance both with the empirical evidence and also with the phenomenology of the will, demonstrating that the two opposing views of agency – both the ones that deny the reality of free will and the ones that affirm it – are equally compatible with the outcomes of these two experiments. On this basis, it is shown that the claim that the results on the timing of readiness potential tip the scales in favour of one or the other view cannot be justified - neither from a neurological, nor from a philosophical perspective.
Baumeister, Roy F.; Mele, Alfred R. & Vohs, Kathleen D. (eds.) (2010). Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: This volume is aimed at readers who wish to move beyond debates about the existence of free will and the efficacy of consciousness and closer to appreciating ...
Berridge, Kent C. (2009). Wanting and liking: Observations from the neuroscience and psychology laboratory. Inquiry 52 (4):378 – 398.   (Google)
Abstract: Different brain mechanisms seem to mediate wanting and liking for the same reward. This may have implications for the modular nature of mental processes, and for understanding addictions, compulsions, free will and other aspects of desire. A few wanting and liking phenomena are presented here, together with discussion of some of these implications
Bielfeldt, Dennis (2009). Freedom and neurobiology: Reflections on free will, language, and political power. By John R. Searle. Zygon 44 (4):999-1002.   (Google)
Burns, Jean E. (1999). Volition and physical laws. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (10):27-47.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Cairns-Smith, Graham; Clark, Thomas W.; Gomatam, Ravi; Kane, Robert H.; Maxwell, Nicholas; Smart, J. J. C.; Spence, Sean A. & Stapp, Henry P. (2005). Commentaries on David Hodgson's "a plain person's free will". Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):20-75.   (Google)
Abstract: REMARKS ON EVOLUTION AND TIME-SCALES, Graham Cairns-Smith; HODGSON'S BLACK BOX, Thomas Clark; DO HODGSON'S PROPOSITIONS UNIQUELY CHARACTERIZE FREE WILL?, Ravi Gomatam; WHAT SHOULD WE RETAIN FROM A PLAIN PERSON'S CONCEPT OF FREE WILL?, Gilberto Gomes; ISOLATING DISPARATE CHALLENGES TO HODGSON'S ACCOUNT OF FREE WILL, Liberty Jaswal; FREE AGENCY AND LAWS OF NATURE, Robert Kane; SCIENCE VERSUS REALIZATION OF VALUE, NOT DETERMINISM VERSUS CHOICE, Nicholas Maxwell; COMMENTS ON HODGSON, J.J.C. Smart; THE VIEW FROM WITHIN, Sean Spence; COMMENTARY ON HODGSON, Henry Stapp
Carlos, & René, Campis (2008). DID I DO IT? -YEAH, YOU DID! Reduction and Elimination in Philosophy and the Sciences:34- 37.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper we analyze Libet’s conclusions on «free will» (FW), rejecting his view of the concept and defending a partially aligned view with Wittgenstein’s early remarks on FW. First, the concept of Readiness Potential (RP) and Libet’s view are presented. Second, we offer an account of Wittgenstein´s point of view. Third, a dual-domain analysis is proposed; finally, we offer our conclusions. This article´s conclusion is part of an ongoing research.
Churchland, Patricia (ms). The big questions: Do we have free will?   (Google)
Abstract: As neuroscience uncovers these and other mechanisms regulating choices and social behaviour, we cannot help but wonder whether anyone truly chooses anything (though see "Is the universe deterministic?"). As a result, profound questions about responsibility are inescapable, not just regarding criminal justice, but in the day-to-day business of life. Given that, I suggest that free will, as traditionally understood, needs modification. Because of its importance in society, any description of free will updated to fit what we know about the nervous system must also reflect our social need for a working concept of responsibility
Clark, Thomas W. (1997). Fear of mechanism: A compatibilist critique of The Volitional Brain. In Libet, B., Freeman, A., Sutherland & K. (eds.), The Volitional Brain:Towards a Neuroscience of Free Will. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Crusio, Wim E. (1999). Behavioral neurogenetics beyond determinism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):890-891.   (Google)
Abstract: Rose's Lifelines justifiably attacks the rigid genetic determinism that pervades the popular press and even some scientific writing. Genes do not equate with destiny. However, Rose's argument should not be taken too far: genes do influence behavior, in animals as well as in man
Dyer, Michael G. (1994). Quantum physics and consciousness, creativity, computers: A commentary on Goswami's quantum-based theory of consciousness and free will. Journal of Mind and Behavior 15 (3):265-90.   (Google)
Eccles, John C. (1976). Brain and free will. In Gordon G. Globus (ed.), Consciousness and the Brain. Plenum Press.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Edmonds, Bruce (online). Towards implementing free-will.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Some practical criteria for free-will are suggested where free-will is a matter of degree. It is argued that these are more appropriate than some extremely idealised conceptions. Thus although the paper takes lessons from philosophy it avoids idealistic approaches as irrelevant. A mechanism for allowing an agent to meet these criteria is suggested: that of facilitating the gradual emergence of free-will in the brain via an internal evolutionary process. This meets the requirement that not only must the choice of action be free but also choice in the method of choice, and choice in the method of choice of the method of choice etc. This is directly analogous to the emergence of life from non-life. Such an emergence of indeterminism with respect to the conditions of the agent fits well with the `Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis' which posits that our intelligence evolved (at least partially) to enable us to deal with social complexity and modelling `arms races'. There is a clear evolutionary advantage in being internally coherent in seeking to fulfil ones goals and unpredictable by ones peers. To fully achieve this vision several other aspects of cognition are necessary: open-ended strategy development; the meta-evolution of the evolutionary process; the facility to anticipate the results of strategies; and the situating of this process in a society of competitive peers. Finally the requirement that reports of the deliberations that lead to actions need to be socially acceptable leads to the suggestion that the language that the strategies are developed within be subject to a normative process in parallel with the development of free-will. An appendix outlines a philosophical position in support of my position
Fisher, C. M. (2001). If there were no free will. Medical Hypotheses 56:364-366.   (Google | More links)
Freeman, Walter J. (1999). Neurogenetic determinism is a theological doctrine. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):893-894.   (Google)
Abstract: In “Lifelines” Steven Rose constructs a case against neurogenetic determinism based on experimental data from biology and in favor of a significant degree of self determination. Two philosophical errors in the case favoring neurogenetic determinism are illustrated by Rose: category mistakes and an excessively narrow view of causality restricted to the linear form
Frith, Christopher D. (1996). Commentary on free will in the light of neuropsychiatry. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 3 (2):91-93.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Gallagher, Shaun (2005). Consciousness and free will. Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 39:7-16.   (Google)
Gallagher, Shaun (2005). Intentionality and intentional action. Synthesis Philosophica 2 (40):319-326.   (Google | More links)
Gallagher, Shaun (2006). Where's the action? Epiphenomenalism and the problem of free will. In Susan Pockett, William P. Banks & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? MIT Press.   (Google)
Gillett, Grant R. (2001). Free will and events in the brain. Journal of Mind and Behavior 22 (3):287-310.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Glannon, Walter (2005). Neurobiology, neuroimaging, and free will. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):68-82.   (Google | More links)
Gomes, Gilberto (2005). What should we retain from a plain person's concept of free will? Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):40-43.   (Google)
Haggard, Patrick; Catledge, P.; Dafydd, M. & Oakley, David A. (2004). Anomalous control: When "free will" is not conscious. Consciousness and Cognition 13 (3):646-654.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Hansen, Jorgen (ms). Do We Really Have Control? New Problems Facing Libertarian Free Will.   (Google)
Abstract: Newly emerging neuroscientific evidence has important ramifications for the metaphysics of free will. In light of this new evidence, I examine the two most common notions of Libertarianism. I argue that advocates for both the agent-causation and causal indeterminist models of libertarian free will suppose a misguided depiction of what constitutes a free decision. In order to retain a consistent standpoint, I argue that libertarians must view the conscious decision-making process as one of an Architectural nature. Libertarians suppose (depending on their notion) that humans are either the primary cause of their actions, or that they at least have the option to do otherwise. For either of these claims to be necessarily the case, I argue that libertarians must regard humans as having the ability to create their decisions. This ability is a requirement of the Architectural framework, which I explain in detail. I continue my case against libertarian free will, by demonstrating that the Architectural conception is also mistaken, and that the conscious decision-making process is instead one of an Archaeological nature. In this new paradigm, our conscious minds simply discover decisions, rather than create them. I show that both neuroscientific and philosophical evidence support this new model of conscious decision making and I examine how this Archaeological view of conscious discovery significantly undermines libertarian free will.
Hartmann, Dirk (2004). Neurophysiology and freedom of the will. Poiesis and Praxis 2 (4):275-284.   (Google)
Abstract: In the first two sections of the paper, some basic terminological distinctions regarding “freedom of the will” as a philosophical problem are expounded and discussed. On this basis, the third section focuses on the examination of two neurophysiological experiments (one by Benjamin Libet and one by William Grey Walter), which in recent times are often interpreted as providing an empirical vindication of determinism and, accordingly, a refutation of positions maintaining freedom of the will. It will be argued that both experiments fall short in this respect, and that in general—for methodical reasons—the prospects of ever deciding the dispute about freedom of the will through empirical research are rather poor
Hodgson, David (2002). Consciousness, quantum physics, and free will. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Hodgson, David (1991). The Mind Matters: Consciousness and Choice in a Quantum World. Oxford Unversity Press.   (Cited by 36 | Google)
Abstract: In this book, Hodgson presents a clear and compelling case against today's orthodox mechanistic view of the brain-mind, and in favor of the view that "the mind matters." In the course of the argument he ranges over such topics as consciousness, informal reasoning, computers, evolution, and quantum indeterminancy and non-locality. Although written from a philosophical viewpoint, the book has important implications for the sciences concerned with the brain-mind problem. At the same time, it is largely non-technical, and thus accessible to the non-specialist reader
Honderich, Ted (1988). A Theory of Determinism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 56 | Google | More links)
Kaposy, Chris (2009). Will neuroscientific discoveries about free will and selfhood change our ethical practices? Neuroethics 2 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: Over the past few years, a number of authors in the new field of neuroethics have claimed that there is an ethical challenge presented by the likelihood that the findings of neuroscience will undermine many common assumptions about human agency and selfhood. These authors claim that neuroscience shows that human agents have no free will, and that our sense of being a “self” is an illusory construction of our brains. Furthermore, some commentators predict that our ethical practices of assigning moral blame, or of recognizing others as persons rather than as objects, will change as a result of neuroscientific discoveries that debunk free will and the concept of the self. I contest suggestions that neuroscience’s conclusions about the illusory nature of free will and the self will cause significant change in our practices. I argue that we have self-interested reasons to resist allowing neuroscience to determine core beliefs about ourselves
Labooy, Guus (2004). Freedom and neurobiology: A scotistic account. Zygon 39 (4):919-932.   (Google | More links)
Larmer, Robert A. (1986). Free will, hegemony and neurophysiological indeterminism. Philosophia 16 (August):177-189.   (Google | More links)
Levy, Donald (2003). Neural holism and free will. Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):205-229.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Both libertarian and compatibilist approaches have been unsuccessful in providing an acceptable account of free will. Recent developments in cognitive neuroscience, including the connectionist theory of mind and empirical findings regarding modularity and integration of brain functions, provide the basis for a new approach: neural holism. This approach locates free will in fully integrated behavior in which all of a person's beliefs and desires, implicitly represented in the brain, automatically contribute to an act. Deliberation, the experience of volition, and cognitive and behavioral shortcomings are easily understood under this model. Assigning moral praise and blame, often seen as grounded in the notion that a person has the ability to have done otherwise, will be shown to reflect instead important aspects of signaling in social interactions. Thus, important aspects of the traditional notion of free will can be accounted for within the proposed model, which has interesting implications for lifelong cognitive development
Libet, Benjamin W. (2001). Consciousness, free action and the brain: Commentary on John Searle's article (with reply from Searle). Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (8):59-65.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Libet, Benjamin W. (1996). Commentary on free will in the light of neuropsychiatry. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 3 (2):95-96.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Libet, Benjamin W. (1999). Do we have free will? Journal of Consciousness Studies 6:47-57.   (Cited by 63 | Google | More links)
Libet, Benjamin W. (2002). Do we have free will? In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 63 | Google | More links)
Libet, Benjamin W.; Freeman, Anthony & Sutherland, Keith (1999). The Volitional Brain: Towards a Neuroscience of Free Will. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 35 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is widely accepted in science that the universe is a closed deterministic system in which everything can, ultimately, be explained by purely physical...
Locke, Don (1974). Action, movement, and neurophysiology. Inquiry 17 (1-4):23 – 42.   (Google)
Abstract: Action is to be distinguished from (mere) bodily movement not by reference to an agent's intentions, or his conscious control of his movements (Sect. I), but by reference to the agent as cause of those movements, though this needs to be understood in a way which destroys the alleged distinction between agent-causation and event-causation (Sect. II). It also raises the question of the relation between an agent and his neurophysiology (Sect. III), and eventually the question of the compatibility of purposive and mechanistic accounts of human behaviour (Sect. IV). For the two to be compatible it is necessary that, e.g., intentions and brain states be not merely co-existent but also causal equivalents, in a way which allows for the mechanical explanation of teleological states — or vice versa
Maasen, Sabine (2006). Neurosociety ahead? Debating free will in the media. In Susan Pockett, William P. Banks & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? MIT Press.   (Google)
Maxwell, Nicholas (2001). The Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will and Evolution. Lanham: Rowman &Amp; Littlefield.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Abstract: This book tackles the problem of how we can understand our human world embedded in the physical universe in such a way that justice is done both to the richness...
Mayr, Ulrich (2004). Conflict, consciousness, and control. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):145-148.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Mele, Alfred R. (2006). Free will: Theories, analysis, and data. In Susan Pockett, William P. Banks & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? MIT Press.   (Google)
Mele, Alfred R. (2010). Testing free will. Neuroethics 3 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: This article describes three experiments that would advance our understanding of the import of data already generated by scientific work on free will and related issues. All three can be conducted with existing technology. The first concerns how reliable a predictor of behavior a certain segment of type I and type II RPs is. The second focuses on the timing of conscious experiences in Libet-style studies. The third concerns the effectiveness of conscious implementation intentions. The discussion of first two experiments highlights some important problems with certain inferences made on the basis of existing data in scientific work on free will. The discussion of the third calls attention to powerful evidence that conscious intentions sometimes are among the causes of corresponding actions. This evidence has been largely ignored in the literature on free will
Morris, Stephen G. (2007). Neuroscience and the free will conundrum. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (5):20 – 22.   (Google)
Muñoz-Suárez, Carlos Mario & Campis, René J. (2008). Did I do It? Yeah, You did! On Wittgenstein and Libet on Free Will. In Hannes Leitgeb & Alexander Hieke (eds.), Reduction and Elimination in Philosophy and the Sciences: Papers of the 31st International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper we analyze Libet’s conclusions on «free will» (FW), rejecting his view of the concept and defending a partially aligned view with Wittgenstein’s early remarks on FW. First, the concept of Readiness Potential (RP) and Libet’s view are presented. Second, we offer an account of Wittgenstein´s point of view. Third, a dual-domain analysis is proposed; finally, we offer our conclusions. This article´s conclusions are part of an ongoing research.
Murphy, Nancey C. (2007). Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Introduction: New approaches to knotty old problems -- Avoiding Cartesian materialism -- From causal reductionism to self-directed systems -- From mindless to intelligent action -- How can neural nets mean? -- How does reason get its grip on the brain? -- Who's responsible? -- Neurobiological reductionism and free will.
Newton, Natika (2003). A critical review of Nicholas Maxwell's the human world in the physical universe: Consciousness, free will, and evolution. Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):149 – 156.   (Google)
Abstract: Nicholas Maxwell takes on the ambitious project of explaining, both epistemologically and metaphysically, the physical universe and human existence within it. His vision is appealing; he unites the physical and the personal by means of the concepts of aim and value, which he sees as the keys to explaining traditional physical puzzles. Given the current popularity of theories of goal-oriented dynamical systems in biology and cognitive science, this approach is timely. But a large vision requires firm and nuanced arguments to support it. Here Maxwell's work is weakest; his arguments for contingent mind-body identity and for free will, on which his larger theory depends, are inadequate. The book is valuable both for its comprehensive view of the human condition and its mysteries, and for its demonstration of the difficulties in making such a view coherent
Pirtoek, Zvezdan (2009). The concept of free will entering the field of neurological sciences. In Eva Zerovnik, Olga Markič & A. Ule (eds.), Philosophical Insights About Modern Science. Nova Science Publishers, Inc..   (Google)
Pockett, Susan (2002). Backward referral, flash-lags, and quantum free will: A response to commentaries on articles by Pockett, Klein, Gomes, and trevena and Miller. Consciousness and Cognition 11 (2):314-325.   (Google)
Roskies, Adina L. (online). Neuroscientific challenges to free will and responsibility.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: phenomena that are hallmarks of what it is to be human free will whether or not the universe is deterministic, many [1,2,4,26]. There is now a widespread and industrious people think that freedom can yet be salvaged if the scientific community, whose aim is to understand the universe is indeterministic, for they favor a Libertarian mechanisms underlying these phenomena [7,9,10, account which posits an agent as an uncaused cause 27–32]. The underlying worry is that those things that [17,18]. In that case, trouble arises if the universe is once seemed to be forever beyond the reach of science deterministic. might soon succumb to it: neuroscience will lead us to see the ‘universe within’ as just part and parcel of the
Rossi, E. L. (1988). Paradoxes of time, consciousness, and free will: Integrating Bohm, Jung, and Libet on ethics. Psychological Perspectives 19:50-55.   (Google)
Searle, John R. (2000). Consciousness, free action and the brain. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (10):3-22.   (Cited by 25 | Google)
Searle, John R. (2001). Free will as a problem in neurobiology. Philosophy 76 (298):491-514.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The problem of free will arises because of the conflict between two inconsistent impulses, the experience of freedom and the conviction of determinism. Perhaps we can resolve these by examining neurobiological correlates of the experience of freedom. If free will is not to be an illusion, it must have a corresponding neurobiological reality. An explanation of this issue leads us to an account of rationality and the self, as well as how consciousness can move bodies at all. I explore two hypotheses. On the first, freedom is a complete illusion. On the second, it is not an illusion, and there is a corresponding indeterminism at the neurobiological level. This can only occur if there is in fact a quantum mechanical element in the fundamental neurobiology of consciousness
Searle, John R. (2007). Neuroscience, intentionality and free will: Reply to Habermas. Philosophical Explorations 10 (1):69 – 76.   (Google)
Shariff, Azim F. & Peterson, Jordan B. (2005). Anticipatory consciousness, Libet's Veto and a close-enough theory of free will. In Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.), Consciousness & Emotion: Agency, Conscious Choice, and Selective Perception. John Benjamins.   (Google)
Sie, Maureen & Wouters, Arno (2010). The bcn challenge to compatibilist free will and personal responsibility. Neuroethics 3 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: Many philosophers ignore developments in the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences that purport to challenge our ideas of free will and responsibility. The reason for this is that the challenge is often framed as a denial of the idea that we are able to act differently than we do. However, most philosophers think that the ability to do otherwise is irrelevant to responsibility and free will. Rather it is our ability to act for reasons that is crucial. We argue that the scientific findings indicate that it is not so obvious that our views of free will and responsibility can be grounded in the ability to act for reasons without introducing metaphysical obscurities. This poses a challenge to philosophers. We draw the conclusion that philosophers are wrong not to address the recent scientific developments and that scientists are mistaken in formulating their challenge in terms of the freedom to do otherwise
Sie, Maureen & Wouters, Arno (2008). The real challenge to free will and responsibility. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):3-4.   (Google)
Abstract: Adina Roskies has argued that worries that recent developments in the neurosciences challenge our ideas of free will and responsibility are misguided. Her argument focuses on the idea that we are able to act differently than we do. However, according to a dominant view in contemporary philosophy, the ability to do otherwise is irrelevant to our judgments of responsibility and free will. It rather is our ability to act for reasons that is crucial. We argue that this view is most significantly challenged by the recent discoveries. Those discoveries show that it is not as obvious and uncontroversial that we act for reasons as it seems. Hence, we have to rethink our concept of reasons-responsiveness
Smart, J. J. C. (2005). Comments on Hodgson. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):58-64.   (Google)
Sperry, Roger W. (1979). Consciousness, free will and personal identity. In David A. Oakley & H.C. Plotkin (eds.), Brain, Behaviour, and Evolution. Methuen and Company.   (Google)
Spence, Sean A. (1996). Free will in the light of neuropsychiatry. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 3 (2):75-90.   (Cited by 42 | Google | More links)
Thalberg, Irving (1970). New light on brain physiology and free will? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 21 (4):379-383.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Usher, Matthew (2006). Control, choice, and the convergence/divergence dynamics: A compatibilistic probabilistic theory of free will. Journal of Philosophy 103 (4):188-213.   (Google | More links)
Velmans, Max (2004). Why conscious free will both is and isn't an illusion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):677.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Wegner’s analysis of the illusion of conscious will is close to my own account of how conscious experiences relate to brain processes. But our analyses differ somewhat on how conscious will is not an illusion. Wegner argues that once conscious will arises it enters causally into subsequent mental processing. I argue that while his causal story is accurate, it remains a first-person story. Conscious free will is not an illusion in the sense that this first-person story is compatible with and complementary to a third-person account of voluntary processing in the mind/brain
Walter, Henrik (2001). Neurophilosophy of Free Will. MIT Press.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Walter, Henrik (2002). Neurophilosophy of free will. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Weil, Vivian M. (1980). Neurophysiological determinism and human action. Mind 89 (January):90-95.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)

5.4a.3 Free Will and Physics

Bishop, Robert C. (2002). Chaos, indeterminism, and free will. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Bridgeman, Bruce (2005). Hyperbolas and hyperbole: The free will problem remains. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):652-653.   (Google)
Abstract: Hyperbolic theories have the fatal flaw that because of their vertical asymptote they predict irresistible choice of immediate rewards, regardless of future contingencies. They work only for simple situations. Theories incorporating intermediate unconscious choices are more flexible, but are neither exponential nor hyperbolic in their predictions. They don't solve the free will paradox, which may be just a consistent illusion
Conway, John H., The strong free will theorem.   (Google)
Abstract: The two theories that revolutionized physics in the twentieth century, relativity and quantum mechanics, are full of predictions that defy common sense. Recently, we used three such paradoxical ideas to prove “The Free Will Theorem” (strengthened here), which is the culmination of a series of theorems about quantum mechanics that began in the 1960s. It asserts, roughly, that if indeed we humans have free will, then elementary particles already have their own small share of this valuable commodity. More precisely, if the experimenter can freely choose the directions in which to orient his apparatus in a certain measurement, then the particle’s response (to be pedantic—the universe’s response near the particle) is not determined by the entire previous history of the universe. Our argument combines the well-known consequence of relativity theory, that the time order of space-like separated events is not absolute, with the EPR paradox discovered by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen in 1935, and the Kochen-Specker Paradox of 1967 (See [2].) We follow Bohm in using a spin version of EPR and Peres in using his set of 33 directions, rather than the original configuration used by Kochen and Specker. More contentiously, the argument also involves the notion of free will, but we postpone further discussion of this to the last section of the article. Note that our proof does not mention “probabilities” or the “states” that determine them, which is..
Dyer, Michael G. (1994). Quantum physics and consciousness, creativity, computers: A commentary on Goswami's quantum-based theory of consciousness and free will. Journal of Mind and Behavior 15 (3):265-90.   (Google)
Esfeld, Michael (2000). Is quantum indeterminism relevant to free will? Philosophia Naturalis 37 (1):177-187.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Quantum indeterminism may make available the option of an interactionism that does not have to pay the price of a force over and above those forces that are acknowledged in physics in order to explain how intentions can be physically effective. I show how this option might work in concrete terms and offer a criticism of it
Evans, D. A. & Landsberg, P. T. (1972). Free will in a mechanistic universe? An extension. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 23 (4):336-343.   (Google | More links)
Garson, James W. (1995). Chaos and free will. Philosophical Psychology 8 (4):365-74.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Abstract: This paper explores the possibility that chaos theory might be helpful in explaining free will. I will argue that chaos has little to offer if we construe its role as to resolve the apparent conflict between determinism and freedom. However, I contend that the fundamental problem of freedom is to find a way to preserve intuitions about rational action in a physical brain. New work on dynamic computation provides a framework for viewing free choice as a process that is sensitive and unpredictable, while at the same time organized and intelligent. I conclude that this vision of a chaotic brain may make a modest contribution to an intuitively acceptable physicalist account of free will
Goldstein, Sheldon, What does the free will theorem actually prove?   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Conway and Kochen have presented a “free will theorem” [4, 6] which they claim shows that “if indeed we humans have free will, then [so do] elementary particles.” In a more precise fashion, they claim it shows that for certain quantum experiments in which the experimenters can choose between several options, no deterministic or stochastic model can account for the observed outcomes without violating a condition “MIN” motivated by relativistic symmetry. We point out that for stochastic models this conclusion is not correct, while for deterministic models it is not new. In the way the free will theorem is formulated and proved, it only concerns deterministic models. But Conway and Kochen have argued [4, 5, 6, 7] that “randomness can’t help,” meaning that stochastic models are excluded as well if we insist on the conditions “SPIN”, “TWIN”, and “MIN”. We point out a mistake in their argument. Namely, the theorem is of the form deterministic model with SPIN & TWIN & MIN ⇒ contradiction , (1) and in order to derive the further claim, which is of the form stochastic model with SPIN & TWIN & MIN ⇒ contradiction , (2) Conway and Kochen propose a method for converting any stochastic model into a deterministic one [4]
Hodgson, David (2005). Response to commentators. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):76-95.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I am very grateful to the commentators for their consideration of my target article. I found their comments thought-provoking and challenging, but I am not persuaded that any substantial departure is required from the views I expressed in the article. I will respond to each comment in turn, and then I will briefly review how my nine propositions have fared
Hodgson, David (ms). The Conway-kochen 'free will theorem' and unscientific determinism.   (Google)
Abstract: One has it that earlier circumstances and the laws of nature uniquely determine later circumstances, and the other has it that past present and future all exist tenselessly in a ‘block universe,’ so that the passage of time and associated changes in the world are illusions or at best merely apparent
Loewer, Barry M. (1996). Freedom from physics: Quantum mechanics and free will. Philosophical Topics 24:91-112.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Margenau, Henry (1967). Quantum mechanics, free will, and determinism. Journal of Philosophy 64 (21):714-725.   (Google | More links)
Moreh, J. (1994). Randomness, game theory and free will. Erkenntnis 41 (1).   (Google)
Abstract:   Libertarians claim that human behaviour is undetermined and cannot be predicted from knowledge of past history even in principle since it is based on the random movements of quantum mechanics. Determinists on the other hand deny thatmacroscopic phenomena can be activated bysub-microscopic events, and assert that if human action is unpredictable in the way claimed by libertarians, it must be aimless and irrational. This is not true of some types of random behaviour described in this paper. Random behaviour may make one unpredictable to opponents and may therefore be rational. Similarly, playing a game with a mixed strategy may have an unpredictable outcome in every single play, but the strategy is rational, in that it is meant to maximize the expected value of an objective, be it private or social. As to whether the outcome of such behaviour is genuinely unpredictable as in quantum mechanics, or predictable by a hypothetical outside observer knowing all natural laws, it is argued that it makes no difference in practice, as long as it is not humanly predictable. Thus we have a new version of libertarianism which is compatible with determinism
Stapp, Henry P., Philosophy of mind and the problem of free will in the light of quantum mechanics.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Arguments pertaining to the mind-brain connection and to the physical effectiveness of our conscious choices have been presented in two recent books, one by John Searle, the other by Jaegwon Kim. These arguments are examined, and it is explained how the encountered difficulties arise from a defective understanding and application of a pertinent part of contemporary science, namely quantum mechanics. The principled quantum uncertainties entering at the microscopic levels of brain processing cannot be confined to the micro level, but percolate up to the macroscopic regime. To cope with the conflict between the resulting macroscopic indefiniteness and the definiteness of our conscious experiences, orthodox quantum mechanics introduces the idea of agent-generated probing actions, each of which specifies a definite set of alternative possible empirically/experientially distinguishable outcomes. Quantum theory then introduces the mathematical concept of randomness to describe the probabilities of the various alternative possible outcomes of the chosen probing action. But the agent-generated choice of which probing action to perform is not governed by any known law or rule, statistical or otherwise. This causal gap provides a logical opening, and indeed a logical need, for the entry into the dynamical structure of nature of a process that goes beyond the currently understood quantum mechanical statistical generalization of the deterministic laws of classical physics. The well-known quantum Zeno effect can then be exploited to provide a natural process that establishes a causal psychophysical link within the complex structure consisting of a stream of conscious experiences and certain macroscopic classical features of a quantum mechanically described brain. This naturally created causal link effectively allows consciously felt intentions to affect brain activity in a way that tends to produce the intended feedback. This quantum mechanism provides an eminently satisfactory alternative to the classical physics conclusion that the physical present is 1 completely determined by the physical past, and hence provides a physicsbased way out of the dilemma that Searle and Kim tried to resolve by philosophical analysis..
Usher, Matthew (2006). Control, choice, and the convergence/divergence dynamics: A compatibilistic probabilistic theory of free will. Journal of Philosophy 103 (4):188-213.   (Google | More links)

5.4a.4 Free Will and Psychology

Ainslie, George (2001). Breakdown of Will. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Ainslie argues that our responses to the threat of our own inconsistency determine the basic fabric of human culture. He suggests that individuals are more like populations of bargaining agents than like the hierarchical command structures envisaged by cognitive psychologists. The forces that create and constrain these populations help us understand so much that is puzzling in human action and interaction: from addictions and other self-defeating behaviors to the experience of willfulness, from pathological over-control and self-deception to subtler forms of behavior such as altruism, sadism, gambling, and the 'social construction' of belief. This book uniquely integrates approaches from experimental psychology, philosophy of mind, microeconomics, and decision science to present one of the most profound and expert accounts of human irrationality available. It will be of great interest to philosophers and an important resource for professionals and students in psychology, economics and political science
Andrew, Wayne K. (1980). Human freedom and the science of psychology. Journal of Mind and Behavior 1:271-290.   (Google)
Arieti, Silvano (1972). The Will to Be Human. [New York]Quadrangle Books.   (Google)
Assagioli, Roberto (1973). The Act of Will. New York,Viking Press.   (Google)
Audi, Robert N. (1976). B.f. Skinner on freedom, dignity, and the explanation of behavior. Behaviorism 4:163-186.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Baer, John; Kaufman, James C. & Baumeister, Roy F. (eds.) (2008). Are We Free?: Psychology and Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: 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
Batthyany, Alexander (2009). Mental Causation and Free Will after Libet and Soon: Reclaiming Conscious Agency. In Alexander Batthyany & Avshalom Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious. Selected Papers on Consciousness. Winter.   (Google)
Abstract: There are numerous theoretical reasons which are usually said to undermine the case for mental causation. But in recent years, Libet‘s experiment on readiness potentials (Libet, Wright, and Gleason 1982; Libet, Gleason, Wright, and Pearl 1983), and a more recent replication by a research team led by John Dylan Haynes (Soon, C.S., Brass, M., Heinze, H.J., and Haynes, J.-D. [2008]) are often singled out because they appear to demonstrate empirically that consciousness is not causally involved in our choices and actions. In this paper, an alternative interpretation of these studies is offered; one which is in accordance both with the empirical evidence and also with the phenomenology of the will, demonstrating that the two opposing views of agency – both the ones that deny the reality of free will and the ones that affirm it – are equally compatible with the outcomes of these two experiments. On this basis, it is shown that the claim that the results on the timing of readiness potential tip the scales in favour of one or the other view cannot be justified - neither from a neurological, nor from a philosophical perspective.
Baumeister, Roy F.; Crescioni, A. William & Alquist, Jessica L. (forthcoming). Free will as advanced action control for human social life and culture. Neuroethics.   (Google)
Abstract: Free will can be understood as a novel form of action control that evolved to meet the escalating demands of human social life, including moral action and pursuit of enlightened self-interest in a cultural context. That understanding is conducive to scientific research, which is reviewed here in support of four hypotheses. First, laypersons tend to believe in free will. Second, that belief has behavioral consequences, including increases in socially and culturally desirable acts. Third, laypersons can reliably distinguish free actions from less free ones. Fourth, actions judged as free emerge from a distinctive set of inner processes, all of which share a common psychological and physiological signature. These inner processes include self-control, rational choice, planning, and initiative
Baumeister, Roy F.; Mele, Alfred R. & Vohs, Kathleen D. (eds.) (2010). Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: This volume is aimed at readers who wish to move beyond debates about the existence of free will and the efficacy of consciousness and closer to appreciating ...
Bertelsen, Preben (2003). Free Will, Consciousness, and Self: Anthropological Perspectives on Psychology. Berghahn Books.   (Google)
Bergson, Henri (1913). Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. Dover Publications.   (Google)
Abstract: Bergson argues for free will by showing that the arguments against it come from a confusion of different conceptions of time. As opposed to physicists' idea of measurable time, in human experience life is perceived as a continuous and unmeasurable flow rather than as a succession of marked-off states of consciousness--something that can be measured not quantitatively, but only qualitatively. His conclusion is that free will is an observable fact
Bergson, Henri (1971). Time and Free Will. New York,Humanities Press.   (Google)
Bratman, Michael (1987). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.   (Google)
Abstract: What happens to our conception of mind and rational agency when we take seriously future-directed intentions and plans and their roles as inputs into further practical reasoning? The author's initial efforts in responding to this question resulted in a series of papers that he wrote during the early 1980s. In this book, Bratman develops further some of the main themes of these essays and also explores a variety of related ideas and issues. He develops a planning theory of intention. Intentions are treated as elements of partial plans of action. These plans play basic roles in practical reasoning, roles that support the organization of our activities over time and socially. Bratman explores the impact of this approach on a wide range of issues, including the relation between intention and intentional action, and the distinction between intended and expected effects of what one intends
Bullock, Merry (ed.) (1991). The Development of Intentional Action: Cognitive, Motivational, and Interactive Processes. Karger.   (Google)
Carter, Steven (1993). He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships. Delacorte Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Available for the first time in paperback, this follow-up to the phenomenally successful Men Who Can't Love tackles the issue of commitmentphobia, that persistent obstacle to truly satisfying contemporary relationships. Authors Stephen Carter and Julia Sokol explore why modern men and women are torn between the desire for intimacy and the equally intense need for independence. Drawing on numerous interviews and real-life scenarios, and written with humor, insight, and the kind of wisdom gained by personal experience, He's Scared, She's Scared offes guidance for all of us who want genuine, sustained intimacy with our romantic partners. From the Trade Paperback edition
Carver, Charles S. (1998). On the Self-Regulation of Behavior. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: This book presents a thorough overview of a model of human functioning based on the idea that behavior is goal-directed and regulated by feedback control processes. It describes feedback processes and their application to behavior, considers goals and the idea that goals are organized hierarchically, examines affect as deriving from a different kind of feedback process, and analyzes how success expectancies influence whether people keep trying to attain goals or disengage. Later sections consider a series of emerging themes, including dynamic systems as a model for shifting among goals, catastrophe theory as a model for persistence, and the question of whether behavior is controlled or instead 'emerges'. Three chapters consider the implications of these various ideas for understanding maladaptive behavior, and the closing chapter asks whether goals are a necessity of life. Throughout, theory is presented in the context of diverse issues that link the theory to other literatures
Carney, Richard E. (1971). Risk-Taking Behavior; Concepts, Methods, and Applications to Smoking and Drug Abuse. Springfield, Ill.,Thomas.   (Google)
Dagsvik, John (1983). Discrete Dynamic Choice: An Extension of the Choice Models of Thurstone and Luce. I Kommisjon Hos H. Aschehoug Og Universitetsforlaget.   (Google)
de Soete, Geert; Feger, Hubert & Klauer, Karl C. (eds.) (1989). New Developments in Psychological Choice Modeling. Distributors for the United States and Canada, Elsevier Science Pub..   (Google)
Edmonds, Bruce (2004). Implementing free will. In D. N. Davis (ed.), Visions of Mind: Architectures for Cognition and Affect. IDEA Group Publishing.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Engeström, Yrjö; Miettinen, Reijo & Punamäki-Gitai, Raija-Leena (eds.) (1999). Perspectives on Activity Theory. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Activity theory is an interdisciplinary approach to human sciences that originates in the cultural-historical psychology school, initiated by Vygotsky, Leont'ev, and Luria. It takes the object-oriented, artifact-mediated collective activity system as its unit of analysis, thus bridging the gulf between the individual subject and the societal structure. This volume is the first comprehensive presentation of contemporary work in activity theory, with 26 original chapters by authors from ten countries. In Part I of the book, central theoretical issues are discussed from different points of view. Some topics addressed in this part are epistemology, methodology, and the relationship between biological and cultural factors. Part II is devoted to the acquisition and development of language - a theme that played a central role in the work of Vygotsky and Luria. This part includes a chapter that analyzes writing activity in Japanese classrooms, and an original case study of literacy skills of a man with cerebral palsy. Part III contains chapters on play, learning, and education, and part IV addresses the meaning of new technology and the development of work activities. The final part covers issues of therapy and addiction
Essau, Cecilia (1992). Primary-Secondary Control and Coping: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. S. Roderer Verlag.   (Google)
Fogel, Alan; Lyra, Maria C. D. P. & Valsiner, Jaan (eds.) (1997). Dynamics and Indeterminism in Developmental and Social Processes. L. Erlbaum.   (Google)
Abstract: One of the most profound insights of the dynamic systems perspective is that new structures resulting from the developmental process do not need to be planned in advance, nor is it necessary to have these structures represented in genetic or neurological templates prior to their emergence. Rather, new structures can emerge as components of the individual and the environment self-organize; that is, as they mutually constrain each other's actions, new patterns and structures may arise. This theoretical possibility brings into developmental theory the important concept of indeterminism--the possibility that developmental outcomes may not be predictable in any simple linear causal way from their antecedents. This is the first book to take a critical and serious look at the role of indeterminism in psychological and behavioral development. * What is the source of this indeterminism? * What is its role in developmental change? * Is it merely the result of incomplete observational data or error in measurement? It reviews the concepts of indeterminism and determinism in their historical, philosophical, and theoretical perspectives--particularly in relation to dynamic systems thinking--and applies these general ideas to systems of nonverbal communication. Stressing the indeterminacy inherent to symbols and meaning making in social systems, several chapters address the issue of indeterminism from metaphorical, modeling, and narrative perspectives. Others discuss those indeterministic processes within the individual related to emotional, social, and cognitive development
Frese, Michael & Sabini, John (eds.) (1985). Goal Directed Behavior: The Concept of Action in Psychology. L. Erlbaum Associates.   (Google)
Frith, Christopher D. (1996). Commentary on free will in the light of neuropsychiatry. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 3 (2):91-93.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Friedman, Myles I. (1991). The Psychology of Human Control: A General Theory of Purposeful Behavior. Praeger.   (Google)
Ginsburg, G. P.; Brenner, Marylin & von Cranach, Mario (eds.) (1985). Discovery Strategies in the Psychology of Action. Academic Press.   (Google)
Good, I. J. (1971). Free will and speed of computation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):48-50.   (Google | More links)
Griffith, Richard M. (1962). The reality of an illusion: A psychology of as-if free will. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 23 (December):232-242.   (Google | More links)
Harcum, E. Rae (1994). A Psychology of Freedom and Dignity: The Last Train to Survival. Praeger.   (Google)
Harcum, E. Rae (1991). Behavioral paradigm for a psychological resolution of the free will issue. Journal of Mind and Behavior 93:93-114.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Harré, Rom (1985). Motives and Mechanisms: An Introduction to the Psychology of Action. Methuen.   (Google)
Haughey, John C. (1975). Should Anyone Say Forever?: On Making, Keeping, and Breaking Commitments. Doubleday.   (Google)
Hershberger, Wayne A. (ed.) (1989). Volitional Action: Conation and Control. Distributors for the U.S. And Canada, Elsevier Science.   (Google)
Hodgson, David (2002). Physics, consciousness and free will. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Holton, Richard (2009). Determinism, self-efficacy, and the phenomenology of free will. Inquiry 52 (4):412 – 428.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Some recent studies have suggested that belief in determinism tends to undermine moral motivation: subjects who are given determinist texts to read become more likely to cheat or engage in vindictive behaviour. One possible explanation is that people are natural incompatibilists, so that convincing them of determinism undermines their belief that they are morally responsible. I suggest a different explanation, and in doing so try to shed some light on the phenomenology of free will. I contend that one aspect of the phenomenology is our impression that maintaining a resolution requires effort—an impression well supported by a range of psychological data. Determinism can easily be interpreted as showing that such effort will be futile: in effect determinism is conflated with fatalism, in a way that is reminiscent of the Lazy argument used against the Stoics. If this interpretation is right, it explains how belief in determinism undermines moral motivation without needing to attribute sophisticated incompatibilist beliefs to subjects; it works by undermining subjects' self-efficacy. It also provides indirect support for the contention that this is one of the sources of the phenomenology of free will
Holton, Richard (forthcoming). Response to 'free will as advanced action control for human social life and culture' by Roy F. Baumeister, A. William crescioni and Jessica L. alquist. Neuroethics.   (Google)
Holton, Richard (2004). Review of Daniel Wegner, The illusion of conscious will. Mind 113 (449):218-221.   (Google)
Honderich, Ted (2001). Mind the guff. Journal Of Consciousness Studies 8 (4):62-78.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: (I) John Searle's conception of consciousness in the 'Mind the Gap' issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies remains short on content, no advance on either materialism or traditional dualism. Still, it is sufficiently contentful to be self-contradictory. And so his Biological Subjectivity on Two Levels, like materialism and dualism, needs replacing by a radically different conception of consciousness -- such as Consciousness as Existence. (II) From his idea that we can discover 'gaps', seeming absences of causal circumstances, in our experience of deciding and acting, Searle is led to the positing of a self and to mysterious causing. (III) In fact philosophers of determinism and freedom over three centuries have concerned themselves with what are now termed 'gaps'. Searle's advance is a useful terminological one. Compatibilist philosophers of freedom, contrary to what is said, have not missed any point at all. A successor to both Compatibilism and Incompatibilism is needed. (IV) Searle's previous account of deciding and acting in Biological Subjectivity on Two Levels does indeed fail because of its epiphenomenalism. (V) The culmination of his paper, his preferred hypothesis now about deciding and acting, is that down-up causation is true of it but not left-right causation. Quantum Theory as often interpreted doesn't work down-up but does work left-right. The hypothesis is entirely in the tradition of the Incompatibilist and Libertarian philosophers of determinism and freedom, whom Searle has joined, but is factually incredible
Kane, Robert H. (online). Symposium: The psychology of free will. Commentary.   (Google)
Abstract: These three papers are exceptionally rich and varied and I will be selective in responding. My aim is to relate the psychological research they discuss to the broader context of current philosophical debates about free will
Kiesler, Charles A. (1971). The Psychology of Commitment. New York,Academic Press.   (Google)
Kusyszyn, Igor (ed.) (1976). Gambling, Risk-Taking, Play, and Personality: A Bibliography. S.N.].   (Google)
Lefcourt, Herbert M. (ed.) (1981). Research with the Locus of Control Construct. Academic Press.   (Google)
Abstract: v. 1. Assessment methods -- v. 2. Developments and social problems -- v. 3. Extensions and limitations.
Leiter, Brian, Nietzsche's philosophy of action.   (Google)
Abstract: Nietzsche holds that people lack freedom of the will in any sense that would be sufficient for ascriptions of moral responsibility; that the conscious experience we have of willing is actually epiphenomenal with respect to the actions that follow that experience; and that our actions largely arise through non-conscious processes (psychological and physiological) of which we are only dimly aware, and over which we exercise little or no conscious control. At the same time, Nietzsche, always a master of rhetoric, engages in a “persuasive definition” (Stevenson 1938) of the language of “freedom” and “free will,” to associate the positive valence of these terms with a certain Nietzschean ideal of the person unrelated to traditional notions of free will
Levy, Neil (online). Are zombies responsible? The role of consciousness in moral responsibility.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Compatibilists often think they can afford to be complacent with regard to scientific findings. But there are apparent threats to free will besides determinism. Robert Kane has recently claimed that if consciousness does not initiate action, all accounts of free will go down, compatibilist and incompatibilist. Some cognitive scientists argue that in fact consciousness does not initiate action. In this paper I argue that they are right (though not for the reasons they advance): as a matter of fact consciousness does not initiate action. But, I contend, Kane is wrong in thinking that it follows that we have no free will. I sketch how we might have free will in spite of the finding that consciousness does not initiate action, and remark on the implications for several well-known accounts of responsibility, include Clarke's agent-causal theory and Fischer and Ravizza's reasons-responsiveness account
Lichtenstein, Sarah & Slovic, Paul (eds.) (2006). The Construction of Preference. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: One of the main themes that has emerged from behavioral decision research during the past three decades is the view that people's preferences are often constructed in the process of elicitation. This idea is derived from studies demonstrating that normatively equivalent methods of elicitation (e.g., choice and pricing) give rise to systematically different responses. These preference reversals violate the principle of procedure invariance that is fundamental to all theories of rational choice. If different elicitation procedures produce different orderings of options, how can preferences be defined and in what sense do they exist? This book shows not only the historical roots of preference construction but also the blossoming of the concept within psychology, law, marketing, philosophy, environmental policy, and economics. Decision making is now understood to be a highly contingent form of information processing, sensitive to task complexity, time pressure, response mode, framing, reference points, and other contextual factors
Maasen, Sabine & Sutter, Barbara (eds.) (2007). On Willing Selves: Neoliberal Politics Vis-?-Vis the Neuroscientific Challenge. Plagrave Macmiilan.   (Google)
Abstract: Currently, the neurosciences challenge the concept of will to be scientifically untenable, specifying that it is our brain rather than our "self" that decides what we want to do. At the same time, we seem to be confronted with increasing possibilities and necessities of free choice in all areas of social life. Based on up-to-date (empirical) research in the social sciences and philosophy, the authors convened in this book address this seeming contradiction: By differentiating the physical, the psychic, and the social realm, the neuroscientific findings can be acknowledged within a comprehensive framework of selves in neoliberal societies
Maasen, Sabine; Prinz, Wolfgang & Roth, Gerhard (eds.) (2003). Voluntary Action: Brains, Minds, and Sociality. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: We all know what a voluntary action is - we all think we know when an action is voluntary, and when it is not. Yet, performing and action and defining it are different matters. What counts as an action? When does it begin? Does the conscious desire to perform an action always precede the act? If not, is it really a voluntary action? This is a debate that crosses the boundaries of Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Social Science. This book brings together some to the leading thinkers from these disciplines to consider this deep and often puzzling topic. The result is a fascinating and stimulating debate that will challenge our fundamental assumptions about our sense of free-will
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Abstract: Wegner's refutation of the notion of a conscious free will is addressed to a general reader. Despite a wide ranging and instructive survey and a conclusion acceptable to current psychological thinking, it is flawed by terminological confusions and lack of attention to relevant evidence and previous psychological approaches. It is suggested that psychology best drop the term will altogether
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Abstract: Each of the following claims has been defended in the scientific literature on free will and consciousness: your brain routinely decides what you will do before you become conscious of its decision; there is only a 100 millisecond window of opportunity for free will, and all it can do is veto conscious decisions, intentions, or urges; intentions never play a role in producing corresponding actions; and free will is an illusion. In Effective Intentions Alfred Mele shows that the evidence offered to support these claims is sorely deficient. He also shows that there is strong empirical support for the thesis that some conscious decisions and intentions have a genuine place in causal explanations of corresponding actions. In short, there is weighty evidence of the existence of effective conscious intentions or the power of conscious will. Mele examines the accuracy of subjects' reports about when they first became aware of decisions or intentions in laboratory settings and develops some implications of warranted skepticism about the accuracy of these reports. In addition, he explores such questions as whether we must be conscious of all of our intentions and why scientists disagree about this. Mele's final chapter closes with a discussion of imaginary scientific findings that would warrant bold claims about free will and consciousness of the sort he examines in this book.
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Abstract: Who Moved My Cheese? showed readers how to adapt to change. Fish! helped raise flagging morale. Execution guided readers to overcome the inability to get things done. QBQ! The Question Behind the Question , already a phenomenon in its self-published edition, addresses the most important issue in business and society today: personal accountability. The lack of personal accountability has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization-or individual-can achieve goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability. The solution involves an entirely new approach. We can no longer ask, "Who dropped the ball?" "Why can't they do their work properly?" or "Why do we have to go through all these changes?" Instead, every individual has to ask the question behind the question: "How can I improve this situation?" "What can I contribute?" or "How can I make a difference?" Succinct, insightful, and practical, QBQ! The Question Behind the Question provides a method for putting personal accountability into daily action, which can bring astonishing results: problems get solved, barriers come down, service improves, teamwork grows, and people adapt to change
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Monroe, Andrew E. & Malle, Bertram F. (2010). From uncaused will to conscious choice: The need to study, not speculate about people's folk concept of free will. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: People’s concept of free will is often assumed to be incompatible with the deterministic, scientific model of the universe. Indeed, many scholars treat the folk concept of free will as assuming a special form of nondeterministic causation, possibly the notion of uncaused causes. However, little work to date has directly probed individuals’ beliefs about what it means to have free will. The present studies sought to reconstruct this folk concept of free will by asking people to define the concept (Study 1) and by confronting them with a neuroscientific claim that free will is an illusion (Study 2), which invited them to either reconcile or contrast free will with determinism. The results suggest that the core of people’s concept of free will is a choice that fulfills one’s desires and is free from internal or external constraints. No evidence was found for metaphysical assumptions about dualism or indeterminism.
Nadelhoffer, Thomas (online). Folk intuitions, slippery slopes, and necessary fictions: An essay on Saul Smilansky's free will illusionism.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: During the past two decades, an interest among philosophers in fictitious and illusory beliefs has sprung up in fields ranging anywhere from mathematics and modality to morality.1 In this paper, we focus primarily on the view that Saul Smilansky has dubbed “free will illusionism”—i.e., the purportedly descriptive claim that most people have illusory beliefs concerning the existence of libertarian free will, coupled with the normative claim that because dispelling these illusory beliefs would produce negative personal and societal consequences, those of us who happen to know the dangerous and gloomy truth about the non-existence of libertarian free will should simply keep quiet in the name of the common good
Nadelhoffer, Thomas & Matveeva, Tatyana (2009). Positive illusions, perceived control and the free will debate. Mind and Language 24 (5):495-522.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It is a common assumption among both philosophers and psychologists that having accurate beliefs about ourselves and the world around us is always the epistemic gold standard. However, there is gathering data from social psychology that suggest that illusions are quite prevalent in our everyday thinking and that some of these illusions may even be conducive to our overall well being. In this paper, we explore the relevance of these so-called 'positive illusions' to the free will debate. More specifically, we use the literature on positive illusions as a springboard for examining Saul Smilansky's so-called 'free will illusionism'. At the end of the day, we will use data from both social and developmental psychology concerning perceived control to try to show that his view is on shaky empirical footing
Nahmias, Eddy A.; Morris, Stephen G.; Nadelhoffer, Thomas & Turner, Jason (2005). Surveying freedom: Folk intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561–584.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of surveying people’s prephilosophical judgments about the freedom and responsibility of agents in deterministic scenarios. In two studies, we found that a majority of participants judged that such agents act of their own free will and are morally responsible for their actions. We then discuss the philosophical implications of our results as well as various difficulties inherent in such research
Nahmias, Eddy (2007). Autonomous agency and the threat of social psychology. In M. Marraffa, M. Caro & F. Ferretti (eds.), Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection. Springer.   (Google)
Abstract: This chapter discusses how research in situationist social psychology may pose largely undiscussed threats to autonomous agency, free will, and moral responsibility.
Nahmias, Eddy (2007). Autonomous Agency and Social Psychology. In Massimo Marraffa, Mario Cardeo & Francesco Ferretti (eds.), Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection. Springer.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: But other threats to autonomy are less often discussed, threats that are not metaphysical or political but psychological. These are threats based on putative facts about human psychology that suggest we do not govern our behavior according to principles we have consciously chosen. For instance, if our behavior were governed primarily by unconscious Freudian desires rather than by our reflectively considered desires, we would be much less autonomous than we presume. Or if our behaviors were the result of a history of Skinnerian reinforcement rather than conscious consideration, our actions would be shaped by our environment more than by our principles. Since the influence of Freud and Skinner has waned, we might feel we have escaped such threats to our autonomy from psychology. But, as I will explain below, more recent and viable theories and evidence from social psychology pose significant threats to autonomous agency.
Nahmias, Eddy A. (2006). Folk fears about freedom and responsibility: Determinism vs. reductionism. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1-2):215-237.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: My initial work, with collaborators Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer, and Jason Turner (2005, 2006), on surveying folk intuitions about free will and moral responsibility was designed primarily to test a common claim in the philosophical debates: that ordinary people see an obvious conflict between determinism and both free will and moral responsibility, and hence, the burden is on compatibilists to motivate their theory in a way that explains away or overcomes this intuitive support for incompatibilism. The evidence, if any, offered by philosophers to support the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive has consisted of reports of their own intuitions or informal polls of their students. We were skeptical about the reliability of such evidence, so we used the methodology--”now associated with the label 'experimental philosophy'--”of conducting formal surveys on non-philosophers. Our participants read a scenario that describes a deterministic universe and were then asked to judge whether agents in those scenarios act of their own free will and are morally responsible for their actions. Using three different scenarios with hundreds of participants, we consistently found that the majority (2/3 to 4/5) responded that agents in deterministic universes do act of their own free will and are morally responsible. That is, we found that most ordinary folk do not seem to find incompatibilism intuitive or obviously correct. Our results have been challenged in various ways, philosophical and methodological. For instance, Shaun Nichols (2004, this volume) and Nichols and Joshua Knobe (unpublished) offer some experimental evidence suggesting that, in certain conditions, most people express incompatibilist and libertarian intuitions. I will respond to this work in the following section. I agree that people express conflicting intuitions about free will (after all, we consistently found a minority of participants expressing incompatibilist
Nichols, Shaun (2006). Free will and the folk: Responses to commentators. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:305-320.   (Google)
Abstract: Experimental research on folk intuitions concerning free will is still in its infancy. So it is especially helpful to have such an excellent set of commentaries, and I greatly appreciate the work of the commentators in advancing the project. Because of space limitations, I can’t respond to all of the comments. I will focus on just a few issues that emerge from the comments that I think are especially promising for illumination
Nahmias, Eddy; Morris, Stephen G.; Nadelhoffer, Thomas & Turner, Jason (2004). The phenomenology of free will. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Abstract: Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we survey the (limited) psychological research on the experiences relevant to the philosophical debates and then describe some pilot studies of our own with the aim of encouraging further research. The data seem to support compatibilist descriptions of the phenomenology more than libertarian descriptions. We conclude that the burden is on libertarians to find empirical support for their more demanding metaphysical theories with their more controversial phenomenological claims.
Nahmias, Eddy (forthcoming). The Psychology of Free Will. In Jesse Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: I have argued that the traditional free will debate has focused too much on whether free will is compatible with determinism and not enough on whether free will is compatible with specific causal explanations for our actions, including those offered by empirical psychology. If free will is understood as a set of cognitive and volitional capacities, possessed and exercised to varying degrees, then psychology can inform us about the extent to which humans (as a species and as individuals) possess those capacities and manage to exercise them across various situations. While recent work on the role of consciousness in action has been misinterpreted to suggest its role is illusory, recent work in social psychology presents a more viable challenge to our free will. The extent to which we can act on reasons we would accept or can know why we are doing what we do appears to be much less than we presume. Further work is necessary, of course, and it will need to involve both philosophical analysis and psychological investigation. Questions regarding the nature of human freedom and responsibility clearly require the conceptual resources of philosophy and the empirical resources of psychology.
Nichols, Shaun (2006). Folk intuitions on free will. Journal of Cognition and Culture.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper relies on experimental methods to explore the psychological underpinnings of folk intuitions about free will and responsibility. In different conditions, people give conflicting responses about agency and responsibility. In some contexts, people treat agency as indeterminist; in other contexts, they treat agency as determinist. Furthermore, in some contexts people treat responsibility as incompatible with determinism, and in other contexts people treat responsibility as compatible with determinism. The paper considers possible accounts of the psychological mechanisms that underlie these conflicting responses
Nichols, Shaun (2009). How can psychology contribute to the free will debate? In J. Baer, J. Kaufman & R. Baumeister (eds.), Psychology and Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Are people free and morally responsible? Or are their actions determined, i.e. inevitable outcomes of the past conditions and the laws of nature? These seem fairly straightforward questions, but it is important to distinguish 3 different dimensions of the free will debate: a descriptive project, a substantive project, and a prescriptive project. In this chapter, I’ll consider how psychology can contribute to each project in turn. First, I should say a bit more about the projects
Nichols, Shaun (2004). The folk psychology of free will: Fits and starts. Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.   (Cited by 23 | Google | More links)
Abstract: According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of obligation. Finally, the paper sets out how this work might illuminate the philosophical problem of free will
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Abstract: First, unlike a good many philosophical puzzles that absorb the efforts of professional philosophers, the web of problems surrounding free will does not take philosophical training to appreciate. It is a ubiquitously accessible problem discussed at length by novelists, poets, musicians, scientists, religious believers, atheists, and more than a few undergraduates in late- night discussions. At least in the Western philosophical tradition it is also a very old problem: versions of it can be found at least as far back as the Stoics and the Epicureans, and arguably in Aristotle. Taken as a whole, these considerations suggest that at least a significant source of puzzles about free will can be found in aspects of our thinking that are available to us at easily accessible levels of reflection. Second, over the past 30 years or so, the philosophical arsenal of incompatibilists
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Abstract: This paper responds to continuing commentary on Velmans (2002a) “How could conscious experiences affect brains,” a target article for a special issue of JCS. I focus on the final question dealt with by the target article: how free will relates to preconscious and conscious mental processing, and I develop the case for preconscious free will. Although “preconscious free will” might appear to be a contradiction in terms, it is consistent with the scientific evidence and provides a parsimonious way to reconcile the commonsense view that voluntary acts are freely chosen with the evidence that conscious wishes and decisions are determined by preconscious processing in the mind/brain. I consider alternative interpretations of how “conscious free will” might operate by Libet and by Mangan and respond to doubts about the extent to which the operations of mind are revealed in consciousness, raised by Claxton and Bouratinos. In reconciling commonsense attributions of freedom and responsibility with the findings of science, preconscious free will can be shown to have practical consequences for adjudications in law
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Abstract: Wegner’s analysis of the illusion of conscious will is close to my own account of how conscious experiences relate to brain processes. But our analyses differ somewhat on how conscious will is not an illusion. Wegner argues that once conscious will arises it enters causally into subsequent mental processing. I argue that while his causal story is accurate, it remains a first-person story. Conscious free will is not an illusion in the sense that this first-person story is compatible with and complementary to a third-person account of voluntary processing in the mind/brain
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Abstract: In this book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the issue.
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Zhu, Jing (2004). Is conscious will an illusion? Disputatio 16.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Zukav, Gary (2003). The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice. Free Press.   (Google)
Abstract: "This book can dramatically change your life by showing you how to take responsibility for the choices you make and break free from the illusion that you are a victim of your circumstances." So begins one of the most significant works you will ever encounter. People make hundreds of choices every day -- both large and small -- yet most individuals feel they have little control over their own lives. Now Gary Zukav, author of the monumental bestseller The Seat of the Soul, joins his spiritual partner, Linda Francis, in a revolutionary look at the power of choice and how to use it wisely. They explain how changing our decision-making can help us avoid self-defeating patterns of thought and action -- and help us take control of our lives by creating authentic, positive power. The Mind of the Soul describes how each moment in life is a moment of decision: wheth- er to persist in the old, limited patterns of life or to choose instead to experiment with the unbounded, liberating potential ahead of us. Using the same pragmatic terms that made The Heart of the Soul so meaningful, Zukav and Francis allow readers to develop, step by step, the ability to break free of unconscious choices that hold them back and limit their fulfillment in life. Whether your choices are large ones -- concerning work, marriage, parenting, or divorce -- or smaller day-to-day choices, such as shouting or showing annoyance when you are angry, they carry consequences for which you must assume responsibility. You will discover that in any situation one choice among the many that present themselves to you is the optimal choice -- to create harmony, cooperation, sharing, or reverence for Life. When you make this choice, you gain the freedom to experiment with your life, see what does or does not work for you, learn to change yourself instead of blaming others, open your heart, and develop authentic power. The Mind of the Soul is a book to be used, not merely read. It is packed with specific, practical exercises, diagrams, and meaningful illustrations that make you a participant in the process of responsible choice. To accompany this book, the authors have created a special Self-Empowerment Journal with additional material to help you focus your thoughts and emotions as you read and to invite you to record your insights after each exercise. The discoveries you make in both the book and the Journal will become a permanent part of your life long after you have turned the last page

5.4a.5 Free Will and Science, Misc

Beckermann, Ansgar (ms). Would biological determinism rule outthe possibility of freedom?   (Google)
Abstract: I shall disclose the answer to the title question straight away, and the answer is “NO, it would not”. If it turned out that we really are neurobi- ologically determined beings, this result would not necessitate any change in our idea of humanity – it would not affect the idea that we are free and responsible human beings. Or at any rate, it would not do so under certain conditions of which I am sure that, as a matter of fact, they are satisfied. But let us first ask the question, “Whence the opposite con- viction, according to which it would prove a disaster for our self-image and the idea that we are free and responsible beings if it emerged that everything we do, think or feel is completely determined by biological factors?”
Dennett, Daniel Clement (2003). Freedom Evolves. Viking.   (Google)
Abstract: Daniel C. Dennett is a brilliant polemicist, famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies. Over the last thirty years, he has played a major role in expanding our understanding of consciousness, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory. And with such groundbreaking, critically acclaimed books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist), he has reached a huge general and professional audience. In this new book, Dennett shows that evolution is the key to resolving the ancient problems of moral and political freedom. Like the planet's atmosphere on which life depends, the conditions on which our freedom depends had to evolve, and like the atmosphere, they continue to evolve-and could be extinguished. According to Dennett, biology provides the perspective from which we can distinguish the varieties of freedom that matter. Throughout the history of life on this planet, an interacting web and internal and external conditions have provided the frameworks for the design of agents that are more free than their parts-from the unwitting gropings of the simplest life forms to the more informed activities of animals to the moral dilemmas that confront human beings living in societies. As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how we came to be different from all other creatures, how our early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave us our minds, our visions, our moral problems-in a nutshell, our freedom
Dennett, Daniel C. (2005). Natural freedom. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):449-458.   (Google | More links)
Fisher, Mark (1983). A note on free will and artificial intelligence. Philosophia 13 (September):75-80.   (Google | More links)
Mele, Alfred R. (2005). Dennett on freedom. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):414-426.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This article is my contribution to an author-meets-critics session on Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves (Viking, 2003) at the 2004 meetings of the American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division. Dennett criticizes a view I defend in Autonomous Agents (Oxford University Press, 1995) about the importance of agents’ histories for autonomy, freedom, and moral responsibility and defends a competing view. Our disagreement on this issue is the major focus of this article. Additional topics are manipulation, avoidance, and avoidability
Hanson, David J. (1970). Science, determinism and free will. Journal of Social Research 13 (March):49-54.   (Google)
Mameli, Matteo (2003). On Dennett and the natural sciences of free will. Biology and Philosophy 18 (5).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: _Freedom Evolves _is an ambitious book. The aim is to show that free will is compatible with what physics, biology and the neurosciences tell us about the way we function and that, moreover, these sciences can help us clarify and vindicate the most important aspects of the common-sense conception of free will, those aspects that play a fundamental role in the way we live our lives and in the way we organize our society
Maxwell, Nicholas (2005). Science versus realization of value, not determinism versus choice. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):53-58.   (Google)
Maxwell, Nicholas (2001). The Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will and Evolution. Lanham: Rowman &Amp; Littlefield.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Abstract: This book tackles the problem of how we can understand our human world embedded in the physical universe in such a way that justice is done both to the richness...
Newton, Natika (2003). A critical review of Nicholas Maxwell's the human world in the physical universe: Consciousness, free will, and evolution. Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):149 – 156.   (Google)
Abstract: Nicholas Maxwell takes on the ambitious project of explaining, both epistemologically and metaphysically, the physical universe and human existence within it. His vision is appealing; he unites the physical and the personal by means of the concepts of aim and value, which he sees as the keys to explaining traditional physical puzzles. Given the current popularity of theories of goal-oriented dynamical systems in biology and cognitive science, this approach is timely. But a large vision requires firm and nuanced arguments to support it. Here Maxwell's work is weakest; his arguments for contingent mind-body identity and for free will, on which his larger theory depends, are inadequate. The book is valuable both for its comprehensive view of the human condition and its mysteries, and for its demonstration of the difficulties in making such a view coherent
O'Connor, Timothy (2005). Pastoral counsel for the anxious naturalist: Daniel Dennett's freedom evolves. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):436-448.   (Google)
Usher, Matthew (2006). Control, choice, and the convergence/divergence dynamics: A compatibilistic probabilistic theory of free will. Journal of Philosophy 103 (4):188-213.   (Google | More links)
Vargas, Manuel R. (2005). Compatibilism evolves?: On some varieties of Dennett worth wanting. Metaphilosophy 36 (4):460-475.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Vargas, Manuel R. (2006). Philosophy and the folk. Journal of Cognition and Culture.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: First, unlike a good many philosophical puzzles that absorb the efforts of professional philosophers, the web of problems surrounding free will does not take philosophical training to appreciate. It is a ubiquitously accessible problem discussed at length by novelists, poets, musicians, scientists, religious believers, atheists, and more than a few undergraduates in late- night discussions. At least in the Western philosophical tradition it is also a very old problem: versions of it can be found at least as far back as the Stoics and the Epicureans, and arguably in Aristotle. Taken as a whole, these considerations suggest that at least a significant source of puzzles about free will can be found in aspects of our thinking that are available to us at easily accessible levels of reflection. Second, over the past 30 years or so, the philosophical arsenal of incompatibilists