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Free Will Skepticism and Bypassing

In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Vol. 4. MIT Press. pp. 27–35 (2014)

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  1. Intuitions About Free Will and the Failure to Comprehend Determinism.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Samuel Murray & Elise Murry - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    Theories of free will are often measured against how well they capture everyday intuitions about free will. But what are these everyday intuitions, and what theoretical commitments do they express? Empirical methods have delivered mixed messages. In response, some free will theorists have developed error theories to undermine the credentials of countervailing intuitions. These efforts are predicated on the idea that people might misunderstand determinism in any of several ways. This paper sheds light on the comprehension problem. We first discuss (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy, Robert Kane, and the Concept of Free Will.J. Neil Otte - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (1):281-296.
    Trends in experimental philosophy have provided new and compelling results that are cause for re-evaluations in contemporary discussions of free will. In this paper, I argue for one such re-evaluation by criticizing Robert Kane’s well-known views on free will. I argue that Kane’s claims about pre-theoretical intuitions are not supported by empirical findings on two accounts. First, it is unclear that either incompatibilism or compatibalism is more intuitive to nonphilosophers, as different ways of asking about free will and responsibility reveal (...)
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  • Frankfurt-Style Cases and Moral Responsibility: A Methodological Reflection.Koji Ota - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (3):295-319.
    Frankfurt-Style Cases seem to elicit the intuitive judgment that an agent is morally responsible despite being unable to act otherwise, which is supposed to falsify the Principle of Alternat...
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  • “It Was All a Cruel Angel’s Thesis From the Start”: Folk Intuitions About Zygote Cases Do Not Support the Zygote Argument.Florian Cova - forthcoming - In Thomas Nadelhoffer & Andrew Monroe (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Free Will and Responsibility. Bloomsbury.
    Manipulation arguments that start from the intuition that manipulated agents are neither free nor morally responsible then conclude to that free will and moral responsibility are incompatible with determinism. The Zygote argument is a special case of Manipulation argument in which the manipulation intervenes at the very conception of the agent. In this paper, I argue that the Zygote argument fails because (i) very few people share the basic intuitions the argument rests on, and (ii) even those who share this (...)
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  • Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 142-57.
    Examines the relevance of empirical studies of responsibility judgments for traditional philosophical concerns about free will and moral responsibility. We argue that experimental philosophy is relevant to the traditional debates, but that setting up experiments and interpreting data in just the right way is no less difficult than negotiating traditional philosophical arguments. Both routes are valuable, but so far neither promises a way to secure significant agreement among the competing parties. To illustrate, we focus on three sorts of issues. For (...)
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  • Why Compatibilist Intuitions Are Not Mistaken: A Reply to Feltz and Millan.James Andow & Florian Cova - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):550-566.
    In the past decade, a number of empirical researchers have suggested that laypeople have compatibilist intuitions. In a recent paper, Feltz and Millan have challenged this conclusion by claiming that most laypeople are only compatibilists in appearance and are in fact willing to attribute free will to people no matter what. As evidence for this claim, they have shown that an important proportion of laypeople still attribute free will to agents in fatalistic universes. In this paper, we first argue that (...)
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  • Weighing in on Decisions in the Brain: Neural Representations of Pre-Awareness Practical Intention.Robyn Repko Waller - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5175-5203.
    Neuroscientists have located brain activity that prepares or encodes action plans before agents are aware of intending to act. On the basis of these findings and broader agency research, activity in these regions has been proposed as the neural realizers of practical intention. My aim in this paper is to evaluate the case for taking these neural states to be neural representations of intention. I draw on work in philosophy of action on the role and nature of practical intentions to (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    Can experimental philosophy help us answer central questions about the nature of moral responsibility, such as the question of whether moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Specifically, can folk judgments in line with a particular answer to that question provide support for that answer. Based on reasoning familiar from Condorcet’s Jury Theorem, such support could be had if individual judges track the truth of the matter independently and with some modest reliability: such reliability quickly aggregates as the number of judges (...)
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  • Hard-Incompatibilist Existentialism: Neuroscience, Punishment, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom & Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
    As philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism continue to gain traction, we are likely to see a fundamental shift in the way people think about free will and moral responsibility. Such shifts raise important practical and existential concerns: What if we came to disbelieve in free will? What would this mean for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law? What would it do to our standing as human beings? Would it cause nihilism and despair as some (...)
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