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Joseph Keim Campbell

What is free will? Why is it important? Can the same act be both free and determined? Is free will necessary for moral responsibility? Does anyone have free will, and if not, how is creativity possible and how can anyone be praised or blamed for anything? These are just some of the questions considered by Joseph Keim Campbell in this lively and accessible introduction to the concept of free will. Using a range of engaging examples the book introduces the problems, arguments, and theories surrounding free will. Beginning with a discussion of fatalism and causal determinism, the book goes on to focus on the metaphysics of moral responsibility, free will skepticism, and skepticism about moral responsibility. Campbell shows that no matter how we look at it, free will is problematic. Thankfully there are a plethora of solutions on offer and the best of these are considered in full in the final chapter on contemporary theories of free will. This includes a rigorous account of libertarianism, compatabilism, and naturalism. Free Will is the ideal introduction to the topic and will be a valuable resource for scholars and students seeking to understand the importance and relevance of the concept for contemporary philosophy.

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Nicholaus Rescher

Few philosophical issues have had as long and elaborate a history as the problem of free will, which has been contested at every stage of the history of the subject. The present work practices an extensive bibliography of this elaborate literature, listing some five thousand items ranging from classical antiquity to the present.

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Meghan Griffith

The question of whether humans are free to make their own decisions has long been debated and it continues to be a controversial topic today. In Free Will: The Basics readers are provided with a clear and accessible introduction to this central but challenging philosophical problem. The questions which are discussed include: Does free will exist? Or is it illusory? Can we be free even if everything is determined by a chain of causes? If our actions are not determined, does this mean they are just random or a matter of luck? In order to have the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility, must we have alternatives? What can recent developments in science tell us about the existence of free will? Because these questions are discussed without prejudicing one view over others and all technical terminology is clearly explained, this book is an ideal introduction to free will for the uninitiated.

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John Thorp

The problem of freedom and determinism is one of the most enduring, and one of the best, problems in philosophy. One of the best because it so tenaciously resists solution while yet always seeming urgent, and one of the most enduring because it has always been able to present itself in different ways to suit the preoccupations of different ages. This book, first published in 1980, sets out to defend free will: it elaborates a sober and systematic case for libertarianism in the face of the overwhelming threat that is posed by the scientific study of the brain.

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Laura Waddell Ekstrom

In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author's own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory.

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Gary Watson

The new edition of this highly successful text will once again provide the ideal introduction to free will. This volume brings together some of the most influential contributions to the topic of free will during the past 50 years, as well as some notable recent work. Topics explored in this collection include: the relation between necessity, acting freely, and freedom to act otherwise; different accounts of the capacity for free agency, and the ways in which it can be compromised; grounds for scepticism about free agency and discussions of the relation between free will and responsibility.

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Richard Wilson

Free Will: Art and power on Shakespeare's stage is a study of theatre and sovereignty that situates Shakespeare's plays in the contraflow between two absolutisms of early modern England: the aesthetic and the political. Starting from the dramatist's cringing relations with his princely patrons, Richard Wilson considers the ways in which this 'bending author' identifies freedom in failure and power in weakness by staging the endgames of a sovereignty that begs to be set free from itself. The arc of Shakespeare's career becomes in this comprehensive new interpretation a sustained resistance to both the institutions of sacred kingship and literary autonomy that were emerging in his time. In a sequence of close material readings, Free Will shows how the plays instead turn command performances into celebrations of an art without sovereignty, which might 'give delight' but 'hurt not', and 'leave not a rack behind'. Free Will is a profound rereading of Shakespeare, art and power that will contribute to thinking not only about the plays, but also about aesthetics, modernity, sovereignty and violence.

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Sam Harris

The physiologist Benjamin Libet famously demonstrated that activity in the brain's motor regions can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move. Another lab recently used fMRI data to show that some "conscious" decisions can be predicted up to 10 seconds before they enter awareness (long before the preparatory motor activity detected by Libet). Clearly, findings of this kind are difficult to reconcile with the sense that one is the conscious source of one's actions. The question of free will is no mere curio of philosophy seminars. A belief in free will underwrites both the religious notion of "sin" and our enduring commitment to retributive justice. The Supreme Court has called free will a "universal and persistent" foundation for our system of law. Any scientific developments that threatened our notion of free will would seem to put the ethics of punishing people for their bad behaviour in question.In Free Will Harris debates these ideas and asks whether or not, given what brain science is telling us, we actually have free will?

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İlham Dilman

What is the place of human free will in our lives if all our actions are the result of some other cause? Does our processing unconscious beliefs or desires make us less free? Is our free will necessarily restricted if we do not choose our own beliefs? The debate between free will and its opposing doctrine, determinism, is one of the key issues in philosophy. Free Will: An historical and philosophical introduction provides a comprehensive introduction to this highly important question and examines the contributions made by sixteen of the most outstanding thinkers from the time of early Greece to the twentieth century: *Homer *Sophocles *Platto *Aristotle *St Augustine *St Thomas Aquinas *Descaartes *Spinoza *Hume *Kant *Schopehauer *Freud *Sartre *Weil *Wittgenstein *Moore Ilham Dilman brings together all the dimensions of the problem of free will with examples from literature, ethics and psychoanalysis. Drawing out valuable insights from both sides of the free will-determinism divide, and he provides an accessible and highly readable introduction to this perennial problem.

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H. Beebee

This comprehensive introductory guide includes discussion of the major contemporary positions on compatibilism and incompatibilism, and of the central arguments that are a focus of the current debate, including the Consequence Argument, manipulation arguments, and Frankfurt's famous argument against the 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities.

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Ilham Dilman

What is the place of human free will in our lives if all our actions are the result of some other cause? Does our processing unconscious beliefs or desires make us less free? Is our free will necessarily restricted if we do not choose our own beliefs? The debate between free will and its opposing doctrine, determinism, is one of the key issues in philosophy. Free Will: An historical and philosophical introduction provides a comprehensive introduction to this highly important question and examines the contributions made by sixteen of the most outstanding thinkers from the time of early Greece to the twentieth century: *Homer *Sophocles *Platto *Aristotle *St Augustine *St Thomas Aquinas *Descaartes *Spinoza *Hume *Kant *Schopehauer *Freud *Sartre *Weil *Wittgenstein *Moore Ilham Dilman brings together all the dimensions of the problem of free will with examples from literature, ethics and psychoanalysis. Drawing out valuable insights from both sides of the free will-determinism divide, and he provides an accessible and highly readable introduction to this perennial problem.

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Bob Doyle

A college-level sourcebook and textbook on the problem of free will and determinism. Contains a history of the free will problem, a taxonomy of current free will positions, the standard argument against free will, the physics, biology, and neuroscience of free will, the most plausible and practical libertarian solution of the problem, and reviews of the work of the leading determinist, Ted Honderich, the leading libertarian, Robert Kane, the leading compatibilist, Daniel Dennett, and the agnostic, Alfred Mele. 480 pages, 40 figures, 15 sidebars, glossary, bibliography, index.

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Ilham Dilman

What is the place of human free will in our lives if all our actions are the result of some other cause? Does our processing unconscious beliefs or desires make us less free? Is our free will necessarily restricted if we do not choose our own beliefs? The debate between free will and its opposing doctrine, determinism, is one of the key issues in philosophy. Free Will: An historical and philosophical introduction provides a comprehensive introduction to this highly important question and examines the contributions made by sixteen of the most outstanding thinkers from the time of early Greece to the twentieth century: *Homer *Sophocles *Platto *Aristotle *St Augustine *St Thomas Aquinas *Descaartes *Spinoza *Hume *Kant *Schopehauer *Freud *Sartre *Weil *Wittgenstein *Moore Ilham Dilman brings together all the dimensions of the problem of free will with examples from literature, ethics and psychoanalysis. Drawing out valuable insights from both sides of the free will-determinism divide, and he provides an accessible and highly readable introduction to this perennial problem.

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Michael McKenna,Derk Pereboom

As an advanced introduction to the challenging topic of free will, this book is designed for upper-level undergraduates interested in a comprehensive first-stop into the field’s issues and debates. It is written by two of the leading participants in those debates—a compatibilist on the issue of free will and determinism (Michael McKenna) and an incompatibilist (Derk Pereboom). These two authors achieve an admirable objectivity and clarity while still illuminating the field’s complexity and key advances. Each chapter is structured to work as one week’s primary reading in a course on free will, while more advanced courses can dip into the annotated further readings, suggested at the end of each chapter. A comprehensive bibliography as well as detailed subject and author indexes are included at the back of the book.

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Michael McKenna,Professor and Keith Lehrer Chair of Philosophy Department of Philosophy and the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom Michael McKenna,Derk Pereboom

As an advanced introduction to the challenging topic of free will, this book is designed for upper-level undergraduates interested in a comprehensive first-stop into the field’s issues and debates. It is written by two of the leading participants in those debates—a compatibilist on the issue of free will and determinism (Michael McKenna) and an incompatibilist (Derk Pereboom). These two authors achieve an admirable objectivity and clarity while still illuminating the field’s complexity and key advances. Each chapter is structured to work as one week’s primary reading in a course on free will, while more advanced courses can dip into the annotated further readings, suggested at the end of each chapter. A comprehensive bibliography as well as detailed subject and author indexes are included at the back of the book.

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Mark Balaguer

In our daily life, it really seems as though we have free will, that what we do from moment to moment is determined by conscious decisions that we freely make. You get up from the couch, you go for a walk, you eat chocolate ice cream. It seems that we're in control of actions like these; if we are, then we have free will. But in recent years, some have argued that free will is an illusion. The neuroscientist (and best-selling author) Sam Harris and the late Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner, for example, claim that certain scientific findings disprove free will. In this engaging and accessible volume in the Essential Knowledge series, the philosopher Mark Balaguer examines the various arguments and experiments that have been cited to support the claim that human beings don't have free will. He finds them to be overstated and misguided.Balaguer discusses determinism, the view that every physical event is predetermined, or completely caused by prior events. He describes several philosophical and scientific arguments against free will, including one based on Benjamin Libet's famous neuroscientific experiments, which allegedly show that our conscious decisions are caused by neural events that occur before we choose. He considers various religious and philosophical views, including the philosophical pro-free-will view known as compatibilism. Balaguer concludes that the anti-free-will arguments put forward by philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists simply don't work. They don't provide any good reason to doubt the existence of free will. But, he cautions, this doesn't necessarily mean that we have free will. The question of whether we have free will remains an open one; we simply don't know enough about the brain to answer it definitively.

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Richard Wilson

Free Will: Art and power on Shakespeare's stage is a study of theatre and sovereignty that situates Shakespeare's plays in the contraflow between two absolutisms of early modern England: the aesthetic and the political. Starting from the dramatist's cringing relations with his princely patrons, Richard Wilson considers the ways in which this 'bending author' identifies freedom in failure and power in weakness by staging the endgames of a sovereignty that begs to be set free from itself. The arc of Shakespeare's career becomes in this comprehensive new interpretation a sustained resistance to both the institutions of sacred kingship and literary autonomy that were emerging in his time. In a sequence of close material readings, Free Will shows how the plays instead turn command performances into celebrations of an art without sovereignty, which might 'give delight' but 'hurt not', and 'leave not a rack behind'. Free Will is a profound rereading of Shakespeare, art and power that will contribute to thinking not only about the plays, but also about aesthetics, modernity, sovereignty and violence.

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Michael McKenna,Derk Pereboom

If my ability to react freely is constrained by forces beyond my control, am I still morally responsible for the things I do? The question of whether, how and to what extent we are responsible for our own actions has always been central to debates in philosophy and theology, and has been the subject of much recent research in cognitive science. And for good reason- the views we take on free will affect the choices we make as individuals, the moral judgments we make of others, and they will inform public policy. Michael McKenna's text introduces this important subject with remarkable clarity, offering the first comprehensive overview of both incompatibilist and compatibilist stances. He begins by motivating both viewpoints, then provides classical accounts of each before giving students an in-depth examination of current scholarship in the free will debate. Topics covered include: the nature of free will the nature of determinism the nature of moral responsibility arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism arguments of the compatibility of free will and determinism libertarian theories of free will and moral responsibility compatibilist theories of free will and moral responsibility hard determinist and hard incompatibilist theories

download ebook free will pdf epub

Richard Wilson

Free Will: Art and Power on Shakespeare's Stage is a study of theatre and sovereignty that situates Shakespeare's plays in the contraflow between two absolutisms of early modern England: the aesthetic and the political. Starting from the dramatist's cringing relations with his princely patrons, Richard Wilson considers the ways in which this 'bending author' identifies freedom in failure and power in weakness by staging the endgames of a sovereignty that begs to be set free from itself. The arc of Shakespeare's career becomes in this comprehensive new interpretation a sustained resistance to both the institutions of sacred kingship and literary autonomy that were emerging in his time. In a sequence of close material readings, Free Will shows how the plays instead turn command performances into celebrations of an art without sovereignty, which might 'give delight' but 'hurt not', and 'leave not a rack behind'. Free Will is a profound rereading of Shakespeare, art and power that will contribute to thinking not only about the plays, but also about aesthetics, modernity, sovereignty and violence.