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Summary Free will seems to require powers of rational choice. Some philosophers have looked to empirical psychology to tell us whether we have these powers. A range of experimental evidence has been interpreted as showing that we are less rational than we believe, that our actions are profoundly influenced by factors outside us in ways we do not realise and that consciousness is not directly involved in producing actions. Both the experimental data and its proper interpretation are very controversial. 
Key works The work of John Bargh has convinced some philosophers that we are influenced by factors of which we are unaware in a way that threatens freedom; Bargh 1994 reviews some of the evidence. Caruso 2012 advances this argument more philosophically. Wegner 2002 is an extended argument that consciousness plays no direct role in behaviour. The situationist literature and its challenge to free will is a focus of Doris 2002Bayne 2004 is representative of philosophical criticism of Wegner. 
Introductions Mele 2011;Mele 2008
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  1. Free will? What’s that?Marco Masi - manuscript
    The question of whether we have free will is a longstanding philosophical debate that has led to divided fronts and interpretations. The first ambiguity arises due to a misconception about the relation between causal determinism, as formulated in classical physics, and the notion of free will, which, once clarified, undermines not only compatibilism but also naïve formulations of libertarianism. We show that either one maintains a material monistic physical causal determinism and must give up free will, or one must give (...)
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  2. Yes, we have conscious will.Mark Sharlow - 2007
    In this paper I examine Daniel M. Wegner's line of argument against the causal efficacy of conscious will, as presented in Wegner's book "The Illusion of Conscious Will" (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002). I argue that most of the evidence adduced in the book can be interpreted in ways that do not threaten the efficacy of conscious will. Also, I argue that Wegner's view of conscious will is not an empirical thesis, and that certain views of consciousness and the (...)
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  3. The psychology of volition: ‘Problem and method pass one another by’.Lars Hertzberg - manuscript
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  4. Quality of Will and (Some) Unusual Behavior.Nomy Arpaly - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter explores how far one can go accounting for the moral responsibility implications of several unusual mental conditions using a parsimonious quality-of-will account that relies on the way we talk about moral responsibility in more mundane situations. By contrasting situations involving epistemic irrationality versus cognitive impairment, it becomes clear that the presence of those often (but not always) excuses actions performed by unusual agents. The discussion turns to situations involving unusual motivational states, which are more problematic for quality-of-will accounts, (...)
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  5. The relationship between free will and consciousness.Lieke Joske Franci Asma - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.
    Reflection on the relationship between free will and consciousness has mainly revolved around Libet-style experiments, for example by criticizing the claim that conscious intentions never cause what we do. Less attention has been paid to whether this response captures the sense in which consciousness is relevant for free will, however. In this paper I argue that scholars seem to accept two assumptions they should reject: (1) that the relationship between free will and consciousness is best characterized in terms of conscious (...)
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  6. Addiction and Agency.Justin Clarke-Doane & Kathryn Tabb - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    Addicts are often portrayed as compelled by their addiction and thus as a paradigm of unfree action and mitigated blame. This chapter argues that our best scientific theories of addiction reveal that, psychologically, addicts are not categorically different from non-addicts. There is no pairing of contemporary accounts of addiction and of prominent theories of moral responsibility that can justify our intuitions about the mitigation of addicts but not non-addicts. Two conclusions are advanced. First, we should either treat addicts as we (...)
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  7. A Defense of Natural Compatibilism.Florian Cova - forthcoming - In Joe Campbell, Kristin Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Free Will. Blackwell.
    In this chapter, I survey the experimental philosophy literature on folk intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. I argue that the hypothesis that folk are natural compatibilists is a better fit and explanation of existing data than the hypothesis that folk are natural incompatibilists. I discuss the use of 'Throughpass' measures in the recent literature (arguing that these measures are inadequate) as well as experimental philosophers' reliance on mediation analysis and structural equation modelling to infer causality (arguing that this (...)
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  8. Being free by losing control: What Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can tell us about Free Will.Sanneke de Haan, Erik Rietveld & Damiaan Denys - forthcoming - In Walter Glannon (ed.), Free Will and the Brain: Neuroscientific, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives on Free Will.
    According to the traditional Western concept of freedom, the ability to exercise free will depends on the availability of options and the possibility to consciously decide which one to choose. Since neuroscientific research increasingly shows the limits of what we in fact consciously control, it seems that our belief in free will and hence in personal autonomy is in trouble. -/- A closer look at the phenomenology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) gives us reason to doubt the traditional concept of freedom (...)
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  9. Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew J. Latham - forthcoming - Noûs.
    In this paper I will introduce a new compatibilist account of free action: indirect conscious control compatibilism, or just indirect compatibilism for short. On this account actions are free either when they are caused by compatibilist-friendly conscious psychological processes, or else by sub-personal level processes influenced in particular ways by compatibilist-friendly conscious psychological processes. This view is motivated by a problem faced by a certain family of compatibilist views, which I call conscious control views. These views hold that we act (...)
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  10. Beyond the Courtroom: Agency and the Perception of Free will.Edouard Machery, Markus Kneer, Pascale Willemsen & Albert Newen - forthcoming - In Samuel Murray & Paul Henne (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Action.
    In this paper, we call for a new approach to the psychology of free will attribution. While past research in experimental philosophy and psychology has mostly been focused on reasoning- based judgment (“the courtroom approach”), we argue that like agency and mindedness, free will can also be experienced perceptually (“the perceptual approach”). We further propose a new model of free will attribution—the agency model—according to which the experience of free will is elicited by the perceptual cues that prompt the attribution (...)
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  11. Does Situationism Threaten Free Will and Moral Responsibility?Michael McKenna & Brandon Warmke - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    _ Source: _Page Count 36 The situationist movement in social psychology has caused a considerable stir in philosophy. Much of this was prompted by the work of Gilbert Harman and John Doris. Both contended that familiar philosophical assumptions about the role of character in the explanation of action were not supported by experimental results. Most of the ensuing philosophical controversy has focused upon issues related to moral psychology and ethical theory. More recently, the influence of situationism has also given rise (...)
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  12. Piercing the smoke screen: Dualism, free will, and Christianity.Samuel Murray, Elise Dykhuis & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Journal of Cognition and Culture.
    Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: (1) a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, (2) that people (...)
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  13. Can Ethics Be Taught?Hiran Perera-W. A. - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
  14. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology.Jesse J. Prinz (ed.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  15. New Threats to Free Thought.Jonathan Ranch - forthcoming - Ethics, Information, and Technology: Readings.
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  16. Handbook of Action Research. Participative.P. Reason & H. Bradbury - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
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  17. Disordered, Disabled, Disregarded, Dismissed: The Moral Costs of Exemptions from Accountability.David Shoemaker - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    According to a popular line of thought, being excluded from interpersonal life is to be exempted from accountability, and vice versa. In ordinary life, this is most often illustrated by the treatment of people with serious psychological disorders. When people are excluded from valuable domains on the basis of their arbitrary characteristics (such as race and sex), they are discriminated against, prevented from receiving the benefits of participation in those domains for morally irrelevant reasons. Exemption from accountability—via exclusion from the (...)
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  18. Moral Psychology: Freedom and Responsibility.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
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  19. Mental Disorders Involve Limits on Control, not Extreme Preferences.Chandra Sripada - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    According to a standard picture of agency, a person’s actions always reflect what they most desire, and many theorists extend this model to mental illness. In this chapter, I pin down exactly where this “volitional” view goes wrong. The key is to recognize that human motivational architecture involves a regulatory control structure: we have both spontaneous states (e.g., automatically-elicited thoughts and action tendencies, etc.) as well as regulatory mechanisms that allow us to suppress or modulate these spontaneous states. Our regulatory (...)
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  20. Distinguishing free will from moral responsibility when measuring free will beliefs: The FWS-II.Alec J. Stinnett, Jordan E. Rodriguez, Andrew K. Littlefield & Jessica L. Alquist - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Previous research suggests that free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs are strongly linked, yet ultimately distinct. Unfortunately, the most common measure of free will beliefs, the free will subscale (FWS) of the Free Will and Determinism Plus, seems to confound free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs. Thus, the present research (1,700 participants across two studies) details the development of a 2-factor FWS – the FWS-II – that divides the FWS into a free will subscale and a moral responsibility (...)
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  21. Scrupulosity and Moral Responsibility.Jesse Summers & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    Scrupulosity is a form of OCD where patients obsess about morality and sometimes compulsively confess or atone. It involves chronic doubt and anxiety as well as deviant moral judgments. This chapter argues that Scrupulosity is a mental illness and that its distortion of moral judgments undermines, or at least reduces, patients’ moral responsibility. The authors go on to argue that this condition challenges popular deep-self theories of responsibility, which assert that one is only blameworthy or praiseworthy for actions that arise (...)
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  22. Taking Control with Mechanisms of Psychotherapy.Robyn Waller - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the control capacities of individuals with certain mental disorders and how, specifically, their reasons-responsiveness improves with treatment. Successful talk therapy, in particular, can bring individuals with disorders of agency closer to full-blown agency. The discussion focuses, first, on Agoraphobia and Exposure Therapy and, second, on Borderline Personality Disorder and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. We can see effective techniques of talk therapy, such as gradual exposure or radical acceptance exercises, as operating on the ability of patients to respond appropriately (...)
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  23. Mind your mindset: the science that shows success starts with your thinking.Michael S. Hyatt - 2023 - Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
    Drawing upon the latest insights from the fields of performance psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science, as well as case studies from their own coaching clients, New York Times bestselling authors Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller explore the power of ideas to shape superior outcomes, not only in business but in the rest of life.
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  24. Living a committed life: finding freedom and fulfillment in a purpose larger than yourself.Lynne Twist - 2023 - Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
    What would your life be like if you committed to something larger than yourself? Find out in the newest book from global transformation thought leader Lynne Twist. How does one person make a difference in the world? People constantly seek to discover meaning in their lives, but as humans take on the challenges facing us in this decade and beyond, we're searching for it now more than ever. Living a Committed Life demonstrates the power of dedication that goes beyond the (...)
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  25. Choosing well: the good, the bad, and the trivial.Chrisoula Andreou - 2022 - New York, NY. United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    This book focuses on the challenges associated with effective choice over time. In particular, it considers the challenges raised by cyclic preferences and by incomplete preferences, both of which interfere with the agent's neatly ordering her options, and which make the agent susceptible to self-defeating patterns of choice in which the agent is drawn into taking each of a series of steps that collectively lead her to a result that she deems unacceptable. The book's guiding questions are the following: What (...)
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  26. The implications of experimental philosophy and moral psychology for the problem of free will.Garth Harold Elzerman - 2022 - Dissertation, University of South Africa
    The problem of free will has a long and intricate history. The millennia of development of the problem have seen the evolution of numerous free will viewpoints. A cursory look at the evolution of the concepts of free will and determinism, the various arguments, counterarguments, complex adjustments to arguments, the variety of sources of empirical research, and empirical insights illustrate the complexity of the debate. This elaborate reality opens itself to a pluralist account of free will and moral responsibility capable (...)
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  27. Brain Pathology and Moral Responsibility.Anneli Jefferson - 2022 - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    Does a diagnosis of brain dysfunction matter for ascriptions of moral responsibility? This chapter argues that, while knowledge of brain pathology can inform judgments of moral responsibility, its evidential value is currently limited for a number of practical and theoretical reasons. These include the problem of establishing causation from correlational data, drawing inferences about individuals from group data, and the reliance of the interpretation of brain findings on well-established psychological findings. Brain disorders sometimes matter for moral responsibility, however, because they (...)
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  28. Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions.Matt King & Josh May (eds.) - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
    How exactly do mental disorders affect one’s agency? How might therapeutic interventions help patients regain or improve their autonomy? Do only some disorders excuse morally inappropriate behavior, such as theft or child neglect? Or is there nothing about having a disorder, as such, that affects whether we ought to praise or blame someone for their moral success or failure? Our volume gathers together empirically-informed philosophers who are well equipped to tackle such questions. Contributors specialize in free will, agency, and responsibility, (...)
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  29. The philosophy and psychology of commitment.John Michael - 2022 - New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
    The phenomenon of commitment is a cornerstone of human social life. Commitments make individuals' behavior predictable, thereby facilitating the planning and coordination of joint actions involving multiple agents. Moreover, commitments make people willing to rely upon each other, and thereby contribute to sustaining characteristically human social institutions such as jobs, money, government and marriage. However, it is not well understood how people identify and assess the level of their own and others' commitments. The Philosophy and Psychology of Commitment explores and (...)
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  30. Targeted Human Trafficking -- The Wars between Proxy and Surrogated Economy.Yang Immanuel Pachankis - 2022 - International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research 13 (7):398-409.
    Upon Brexit & Trade War, the research took a supply-side analysis in macroeconomic paradigm for the purpose and cause of the actions. In the geopolitical competitions on crude oil resources between the allied powers & the Russian hegemony, the latter of which has effective control over P. R. China’s multilateral behaviors, the external research induced that trade war, either by complete information in intelligence or an unintended result, was a supply chain attack in prohibiting the antisatellite weapon supplies in the (...)
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  31. Relationship Ocd: A Cbt-Based Guide to Move Beyond Obsessive Doubt, Anxiety, and Fear of Commitment in Romantic Relationships.Sheva Rajaee - 2022 - Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
    Obsessive doubt and commitment phobia are relationship wreckers. Written by an anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder expert, Relationship OCD offers an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral approach to finding relief from chronic relationship anxiety. Readers will learn to challenge the intrusive thoughts and worries that trigger harmful emotions, embrace the uncertainty inherent in all human connections, and discover a deeper sense of intimacy and trust.
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  32. Freely Determined: What the New Psychology of the Self Teaches Us About How to Live.Kennon M. Sheldon - 2022 - New York: Basic Books.
    For centuries, philosophers have debated the question of free will. Do we make our own choices? Or are we more like rudderless ships drifting on the ocean, buffeted by winds and currents outside ourselves? In TK, research psychologist Ken Sheldon reveals that the way we answer these questions has serious implications for our wellbeing. We may never know for certain whether free will exists, Sheldon argues, but recent studies have found that believing in free will matters-indeed, it's an essential component (...)
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  33. Responsibility and Situationism.Brandon Warmke - 2022 - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 468-493.
    This chapter explores the relationship between an agent’s moral responsibility for their actions and the situations in which an agent acts. Decades of research in psychology are sometimes thought to support situationism, the view that features of an agent’s situation greatly influence their behavior in powerful and surprising ways. Such situational fea­tures might therefore be thought to threaten agents’ abilities to act freely and responsi­bly. This chapter begins by discussing some relevant empirical literature on situationism. It then surveys several ways (...)
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  34. Toward a political economy of the long term.Lisa Adkins & Maryanne Dever - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  35. Mijn intenties en ik. Filosofie van de vrije wil.Lieke Asma - 2021 - Amsterdam, Niederlande: Boom uitgevers Amsterdam.
    Vrije wil is een raadselachtig fenomeen. Wij mensen hebben de indruk dat we zelf keuzes maken, maar de wetenschap vertelt een heel ander verhaal: onze handelingen zijn slechts het resultaat van onze persoonlijke eigenschappen, onbewuste associaties en hersenprocessen. Ons bewuste zelf is niets meer dan een passieve toeschouwer. Het is dan ook niet verrassend dat wetenschappelijk onderzoek vaak uitmondt in determinisme of ‘willusionisme’. -/- Maar wat is vrije wil eigenlijk? En wat betekent het om zelf te kiezen? In Mijn intenties (...)
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  36. Death do us part.Carla Freccero - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  37. Committed to the end : on caretaking, rereading, and queer theory.Elizabeth Freeman - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  38. Never better : queer commitment phobia in Hanya Yanagihara's A little life.Scott Herring - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  39. Introduction: A theory of the long term.Scott Herring & Lee Wallace - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  40. Long term: essays on queer commitment.Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.) - 2021 - Durham: Duke University Press.
    The tension between the popular embrace of same-sex marriage and the queer critique of homonormativity prompts the contributors to Long Term to explore queer commitments as they are more broadly conceived. The essays contained here de-familiarize the idea of commitment and extend the category of significant others to include animals, possessions, institutions and disciplines. Revitalizing the concerns of queer theory beyond the commitment to anti-normativity, these essays contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship in queer temporality studies, disability studies, autotheory, and the emergent (...)
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  41. Serial commitment, or, 100 ways to leave your lover.Annamarie Jagose & Lee Wallace - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  42. Race, incarceration, and the commitment to volunteer.Amy Jamgochian - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  43. Foreword: Wouldn't take nothing for my journey.E. Patrick Johnson - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  44. The color of kinship : race, biology, and queer reproduction.Jaya Keaney - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  45. The long run.Heather Love - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  46. Unhealthy attachments : myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and the commitment to endure.Sally R. Munt - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  47. Piercing the Smoke Screen: Dualism, Free Will, and Christianity.Samuel Murray, Elise Murray & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2021 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 21 (1-2):94-111.
    Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, that people with predominantly (...)
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  48. A lifetime of drugs.Kane Race - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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  49. Mental imagery and the illusion of conscious will.Paulius Rimkevičius - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4581-4600.
    I discuss the suggestion that conscious will is an illusion. I take it to mean that there are no conscious decisions. I understand ‘conscious’ as accessible directly and ‘decision’ as the acquisition of an intention. I take the alternative of direct access to be access by interpreting behaviour. I start with a survey of the evidence in support of this suggestion. I argue that the evidence indicates that we are misled by external behaviour into making false positive and false negative (...)
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  50. Loss and the long term.Amy Villarejo - 2021 - In Scott Herring & Lee Wallace (eds.), Long term: essays on queer commitment. Duke University Press.
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