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Free will

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018)

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  1. Projects and Methods of Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - In Alexander Max Bauer & Stephan Kornmesser (eds.), The Compact Compendium of Experimental Philosophy. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    How does experimental philosophy address philosophical questions and problems? That is: What projects does experimental philosophy pursue? What is their philosophical relevance? And what empirical methods do they employ? Answers to these questions will reveal how experimental philosophy can contribute to the longstanding ambition of placing philosophy on the ‘secure path of a science’, as Kant put it. We argue that experimental philosophy has introduced a new methodological perspective – a ‘meta-philosophical naturalism’ that addresses philosophical questions about a phenomenon by (...)
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  • Formation of the "Self-Made-Man" Idea in the Context of the Christian Middle Ages.V. Y. Antonova & O. M. Korkh - 2021 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 19:117-126.
    The purpose of this article is to analyze the variability of the "Self-made-man" idea in the context of the Christian Middle Ages in its primarily historical and philosophical presentation. Research is based on the historical and philosophical analysis of the medieval philosophy presented foremost by the works of Aurelius Augustine, P. Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, and also by the modern researches of this epoch. Theoretical basis. Historical, comparative, and hermeneutic methods became fundamental for this research. Originality. The conducted analysis allowed to (...)
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  • Happiness, Life, Liberty.Balázs M. Mezei - 2017 - Wisdom 8 (1):49-59.
    Happiness, life and liberty are central terms in the history of philosophy. At the same time, they belong to the core of Christianity. We find these key terms already in the New Testament and we also find that reflections on these terms have defined their meanings in new ways throughout the centuries. I show the way how the original meanings have gradually changed. In contemporary reflections, we find interesting attempts to reform the traditional meanings, in which the influence of the (...)
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  • Free Will, Determinism, and the Right Levels of Description.Leonhard Menges - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (1):1-18.
    ABSTRACT Recently, many authors have argued that claims about determinism and free will are situated on different levels of description and that determinism on one level does not rule out free will on another. This paper focuses on Christian List’s version of this basic idea. It will be argued for the negative thesis that List’s account does not rule out the most plausible version of incompatibilism about free will and determinism and, more constructively, that a level-based approach to free will (...)
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  • Michael S. Moore: Mechanical Choices. The Responsibility of the Human Machine. [REVIEW]Sofia M. I. Jeppsson - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-4.
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  • Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
    This paper provides a taxonomy of cosmological arguments and givesgeneral reasons for thinking that arguments that belong to a given category do not succeed.
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  • Fundamental Yet Grounded.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):578-599.
    Grounding is claimed to offer a promising characterization of the fundamental as thatwhich is ungrounded. Detractors of this view argue that there can be fundamental and yet mutuallygrounded entities. Such a possibility undermines the denition of the fundamental as theungrounded. I aim to show, however, that the possibility of fundamental mutually grounded entitiesdoes not force us to renounce the prospects of characterizing fundamentality in terms of ground-ing. To accomplish this aim, I defend a grounding-based view that accommodates fundamentalmutually grounded entities (...)
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  • Freedom, Obligation, and Responsibility: Prospects for a Unifying Theory.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):106-125.
  • A Strawsonian Look at Desert.Adina L. Roskies & Bertram F. Malle - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-20.
    P.F. Strawson famously argued that reactive attitudes and ordinary moral practices justify moral assessments of blame, praise, and punishment. Here we consider whether Strawson's approach can illuminate the concept of desert. After reviewing standard attempts to analyze this concept and finding them lacking, we suggest that to deserve something is to justifiably receive a moral assessment in light of certain criteria – in particular, eligibility criteria and assignment criteria. Strawson's analysis of the ordinary attitudes and practices of moral assessment hints (...)
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  • Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):235-252.
    I argue that no one knows whether there is free will.
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  • Meaning and Emotion.Constant Bonard - 2021 - Dissertation, Université de Genève
    This dissertation may be divided into two parts. The first part is about the Extended Gricean Model of information transmission. This model, introduced here, is meant to better explain how humans communicate and understand each other. It has been developed to apply to cases that were left unexplained by the two main models of communication found in contemporary philosophy and linguistics, i.e. the Gricean model and the code model. In particular, I show that these latter two models cannot apply to (...)
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  • Don’T Panic: Self-Authorship Without Obscure Metaphysics1.Adina L. Roskies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):323-342.
    In this paper I attempt to respond to the worries of the source incompatibilist, and try to sketch a naturalistically plausible, compatibilist notion of self-authorship and control that I believe captures important aspects of the folk intuitions regarding freedom and responsibility. It is my hope to thus offer those moved by source incompatibilist worries a reason not to adopt what P.F. Strawson called “the obscure and panicky metaphysics of Libertarianism” (P. F. Strawson, 1982) or the panic-inducing moral austerity of the (...)
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  • A Stochastic Process Model for Free Agency Under Indeterminism.Thomas Müller & Hans J. Briegel - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):219-252.
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  • The Notion of Free Will and its Ethical Relevance for Decision-Making Capacity.Tobias Zürcher, Bernice Elger & Manuel Trachsel - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):31.
    Obtaining informed consent from patients is a moral and legal duty and, thus, a key legitimation for medical treatment. The pivotal prerequisite for valid informed consent is decision-making capacity of the patient. Related to the question of whether and when consent should be morally and legally valid, there has been a long-lasting philosophical debate about freedom of will and the connection of freedom and responsibility. The scholarly discussion on decision-making capacity and its clinical evaluation does not sufficiently take into account (...)
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  • Against Legal Punishment.Nathan Hanna - forthcoming - In Matthew C. Altman (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Punishment. Palgrave.
    I argue that legal punishment is morally wrong because it’s too morally risky. I first briefly explain how my argument differs from similar ones in the philosophical literature on legal punishment. Then I explain why legal punishment is morally risky, argue that it’s too morally risky, and discuss objections. In a nutshell, my argument goes as follows. Legal punishment is wrong because we can never sufficiently reduce the risk of doing wrong when we legally punish people. We can never sufficiently (...)
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  • Epistemology & The Soul.Joshua Synon - unknown
    An essay that investigates the possibility of knowledge and the existence of a soul that persists after bodily death. It was shortly after finishing the second edition of Natural Theology & Classical Apologetics that I wrote this essay. It is clear that at the time of this writing I did not possess the understanding of some of the ideas that I now have. Some ideas in this essay are oversimplified and reflect the infancy of my own understanding.
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  • The P2P Simulation Hypothesis and Meta-Problem of Everything.Marcus Arvan - manuscript
    David. J. Chalmers examines eleven possible solutions to the meta-problem of consciousness, ‘the problem of explaining why we think that there is a problem of consciousness.’ The present paper argues that Chalmers overlooks an explanation that he has otherwise taken seriously, and which a number of philosophers, physicists, and computer scientists have taken seriously as well: the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation. This paper argues that a particular version of the simulation hypothesis is at least as (...)
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  • Free Will of an Ontologically Open Mind.Jan Scheffel - manuscript
    The problem of free will has persistently resisted a solution throughout centuries. There is reason to believe that new elements need to be introduced into the analysis in order to make progress. In the present physicalist approach, these elements are emergence and information theory in relation to universal limits set by quantum physics. Furthermore the common, but vague, characterization of free will as "being able to act differently" is, in the spirit of Carnap, rephrased into an explicatum more suitable for (...)
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  • Hegel’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem: A Conceptual Oversight and Its Implications for Legal Theory.Robert Donoghue - forthcoming - Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences.
    Robert Donoghue ABSTRACT: G.W.F Hegel offers a thorough, complex, and unique theory of free will in the Philosophy of Right. In what follows, I argue that Hegel’s conceptualization of free will makes the mistake of collapsing the possibility of organic freedom into the potential for moral freedom ….
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  • Free Will and Determinism: Resolving the Tension.Richard Startup - 2021 - Open Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):482-498.
    Progress may be made in resolving the tension between free will and determinism by analysis of the necessary conditions of freedom. It is of the essence that these conditions include causal and deterministic regularities. Furthermore, the human expression of free will is informed by understanding some of those regularities, and increments in that understanding have served to enhance freedom. When the possible character of a deterministic system based on physical theory is considered, it is judged that, far from implying the (...)
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  • Heavenly Freedom and Two Models of Character Perfection.Robert J. Hartman - 2021 - Faith and Philosophy 38 (1):45-64.
    Human persons can act with libertarian freedom in heaven according to one prominent view, because they have freely acquired perfect virtue in their pre-heavenly lives such that acting rightly in heaven is volitionally necessary. But since the character of human persons is not perfect at death, how is their character perfected? On the unilateral model, God alone completes the perfection of their character, and, on the cooperative model, God continues to work with them in purgatory to perfect their own character. (...)
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  • Fragmental Presentism and Quantum Mechanics.Paul Merriam - 2021
    This paper develops a Fragmentalist theory of Presentism and shows how it can help to develop a interpretation of quantum mechanics. There are several fragmental interpretations of physics. In the interpretation of this paper, each quantum system forms a fragment, and fragment f1 makes a measurement on fragment f2 if and only if f2 makes a corresponding measurement on f1. The main idea is then that each fragment has its own present (or ‘now’) until a mutual quantum measurement—at which time (...)
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  • A Reason To Be Free: Operationalizing ‘Free Action’.Giulio Mecacci & Pim Haselager - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):327-334.
    Recent Libet-style experiments are of limited relevance to the debate about free action and free will, and should be understood as investigations of arbitrary actions or guesses. In Libet-style experiments, the concept of 'free action' is commonly taken to refer to a 'self-initiated voluntary act', where the self prompts an action without being prompted. However, this idea is based on the problematic assumption that the conscious self needs to be free from every constraint in order to be actually free. We (...)
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  • Belief Control and Intentionality.Matthias Steup - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):145-163.
    In this paper, I argue that the rejection of doxastic voluntarism is not as straightforward as its opponents take it to be. I begin with a critical examination of William Alston's defense of involuntarism and then focus on the question of whether belief is intentional.
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  • Perception of Free Will: The Perspective of Incarcerated Adolescent and Adult Offenders. [REVIEW]Kimberly R. Laurene, Richard F. Rakos, Marie S. Tisak, Allyson L. Robichaud & Michael Horvath - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):723-740.
    The existence of free will has been both an enduring presumption of Western culture and a subject for debate across disciplines for millennia. However, little empirical evidence exists to support the almost unquestioned assumption that, in general, Westerners endorse the existence of free will. The few studies that measure belief in free will have methodological problems that likely resulted in underestimating the true extent of belief. Recently, Rakos et al. (Behavior and Social Issues 17:20–39, 2008 ) found a stronger endorsement (...)
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  • "That's Not the Issue": Against a Lightweight Interpretation of Ontological Disputes.Manuel J. Sanchís Ferrer - manuscript
    In this paper I argue against what I label as "Lightweight interpretation of ontological disputes". This interpretation criteria sees ontological disputes as metalinguistic negotiations concerning the pursuing of practical objectives. I have developed an argument, called "That's not the issue", which shows that this interpretation criteria is inapplicable to most ontological disputes.
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  • Imitation, Conscious Will and Social Conditioning.Daniel Rueda Garrido - 2021 - Mind and Society 20 (1):85-102.
    This essay aims to explore imitation in social contexts. The argument that summarizes my claim is that the perception of other people’s behaviour conditions the agent in imitating that behaviour, as evidence from social psychology holds :893–910, 1999; Bargh and Ferguson in Psychol Bull 126:925–945, 2000; Bargh and Ferguson in Trends Cogn Sci 8:33–39, 2004), but what the agent perceives and experiences becomes potential motives for her actions only through her identification with a particular way of being and acting. Therefore, (...)
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  • The Mystification of Hume's Compatibilism.Panteha Yektaeian - unknown
    The traditional reading of Hume is that he is a regularity theorist about causation and a compatibilist on the issue of human freedom and moral responsibility. I argue that these readings are mutually exclusive---i.e. endorsement of the one entails the rejection of the other---as they diverge on a fundamental premise, namely, the truth of causal determinism. Relatively recent "New Hume" scholarship has claimed that he is a causal realist---i.e. that he believes in the objective existence of necessary connections or causal (...)
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  • Philosophical Puzzles Evade Empirical Evidence: Some Thoughts and Clarifications Regarding the Relation Between Brain Sciences and Philosophy of Mind.Işık Sarıhan - 2017 - In Jon Leefmann & Elisabeth Hildt (eds.), Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain. San Diego: Elsevier. pp. 14-23.
    This chapter analyzes the relation between brain sciences and philosophy of mind, in order to clarify in what ways philosophy can contribute to neuroscience and neuroscience can contribute to philosophy. Especially since the 1980s and the emergence of “neurophilosophy”, more and more philosophers have been bringing home morals from neuroscience to settle philosophical issues. I mention examples from the problem of consciousness, philosophy of perception and the problem of free will, and I argue that such attempts are not successful in (...)
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  • Free Will and Neurosurgical Resections of the Supplementary Motor Area: A Critical Review.Rickard L. Sjöberg - forthcoming - Acta Neurochirurgica.
    Background: Research suggests that unconscious activity in the supplementary motor area precedes not only certain simple motor actions but also the point at which we become aware of our intention to perform such actions. The extent to which these findings have implications for our understanding of the concepts of free will and personal responsibility has been subject of intense debate during the latest four decades. Methods: This research is discussed in relation to effects of neurosurgical removal of the SMA in (...)
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  • “Dual State”, “Double-Perspective” and “Cartesian-Like Dualism” Are Three Forms of Dualisms Emerging in Mind Like in a Matrioska.Enrico Bignetti - 2020 - Open Journal of Philosophy 10 (4):555-578.
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  • مواجهه با مسئله فعل الهی در طبیعت: برتری دیدگاه نوخاسته گرایانه بر دیدگاه های تومیستی و کوانتمی.سید حسن حسینی & مسعود طوسی سعیدی - 2020 - پژوهشنامه فلسفه دین 17 (2):27-56.
    نوخاسته‌گرایان مشهوری نظیر نانسی مورفی و پاول دیویس مدعی‌اند قبول برخی دیدگاه‌های نوخاسته‌گرایانه وقوع تحولی اساسی در پارادایم علمی حاکم را در پی دارد. در این مقاله، نخست با واکاوی مضامین اصلی مربوط به مواضعی نظیر طبیعت‌گرایی، تقلیل‌گرایی، علم‌گرایی و نظیر اینها، تحلیلی کلی از مؤلفه‌های پارادایم علمی ارائه می‌شود. در ضمن این تحلیل، مؤلفه‌های مختلف مربوط به پارادایم علمی تبیین شده، نسبت این مؤلفه‌ها با یکدیگر بررسی می‌شود. پس از آن، به بررسی دیدگاه‌های نوخاسته‌گرایانه از هر دو قسم نوخاسته‌گرایی (...)
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  • A Normative Approach to Artificial Moral Agency.Dorna Behdadi & Christian Munthe - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (2):195-218.
    This paper proposes a methodological redirection of the philosophical debate on artificial moral agency in view of increasingly pressing practical needs due to technological development. This “normative approach” suggests abandoning theoretical discussions about what conditions may hold for moral agency and to what extent these may be met by artificial entities such as AI systems and robots. Instead, the debate should focus on how and to what extent such entities should be included in human practices normally assuming moral agency and (...)
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  • Freedom of the Will and Consumption Restrictions.Ronald Paul Hill - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 164 (2):311-324.
    There is a long-standing interest in business ethics around the concept of free will, but study of its possible influence on consumer behavior is only in the nascent stage. This lack of research is particularly acute in certain consumption contexts, especially ones based on highly restricted access that appear to suggest abrogation of the will. In this paper, we offer a novel approach that involves reexamination of qualitative/ethnographic research that has chronicled consumption restrictions without consideration of potential implications for free (...)
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  • Determinism, Moral Responsibility and Retribution.Elizabeth Shaw & Robert Blakey - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (1):99-113.
    In this article, we will identify two issues that deserve greater attention from those researching lay people’s attitudes to moral responsibility and determinism. The first issue concerns whether people interpret the term “moral responsibility” in a retributive way and whether they are motivated to hold offenders responsible for pre-determined behaviour by considerations other than retributivism, e.g. the desires to condemn the action and to protect society. The second issue concerns whether explicitly rejecting moral responsibility and retributivism, after reading about determinism, (...)
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  • Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    In this thesis, I will defend a new kind of compatibilist account of free action, indirect conscious control compatibilism (or indirect compatibilism for short), and argue that some of our actions are free according to it. My argument has three components, and involves the development of a brand new tool for experimental philosophy, and the use of cognitive neuroscience. The first component of the argument shows that compatibilism (of some kind) is a conceptual truth. Contrary to the current orthodoxy in (...)
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  • Enhancing Responsibility: Directions for an Interdisciplinary Investigation.Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
    [Note: articles 1-5 are in English; Intro, Discussion, and Conclusion are in Portuguese.] Responsibility practices that are part of our daily lives involve, among other things, standards about how one should praise, blame, or punish people for their actions, as well as particular acts that follow those standards to a greater or lesser extent. A classical question in philosophy asks whether human beings can actually be morally responsible for what they do. This dissertation argues that addressing this classical question is (...)
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  • Taking Responsibility for Ourselves: A Kierkegaardian Account of the Freedom-Relevant Conditions Necessary for the Cultivation of Character.Paul E. Carron - 2011 - Dissertation, Baylor University
    What are the freedom-relevant conditions necessary for someone to be a morally responsible person? I examine several key authors beginning with Harry Frankfurt that have contributed to this debate in recent years, and then look back to the writings or Søren Kierkegaard to provide a solution to the debate. In this project I investigate the claims of semi-compatibilism and argue that while its proponents have identified a fundamental question concerning free will and moral responsibility—namely, that the agential properties necessary for (...)
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  • Epicureanism.Thomas A. Blackson - forthcoming - In Tom Angier (ed.), The History of Evil in Antiquity: 2000 Bce to 450 Ce. Routledge.
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  • Being and Time, §15: Around-for References and the Content of Mundane Concern.Howard Damian Kelly - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Manchester
    This thesis articulates a novel interpretation of Heidegger’s explication of the being (Seins) of gear (Zeugs) in §15 of his masterwork Being and Time (1927/2006) and develops and applies the position attributed to Heidegger to explain three phenomena of unreflective action discussed in recent literature and articulate a partial Heideggerian ecological metaphysics. Since §15 of BT explicates the being of gear, Part 1 expounds Heidegger’s concept of the ‘being’ (Seins) of beings (Seienden) and two issues raised in the ‘preliminary methodological (...)
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  • The Idea of Will.M. M. Dorenbosch - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 6 (7):449-472.
    This article presents a new conceptual view on the conscious will. This new concept approaches our will from the perspective of the requirements of our neural-muscular system and not from our anthropocentric perspective. This approach not only repositions the will at the core of behavior control, it also integrates the studies of Libet and Wegner, which seem to support the opposite. The will does not return as an instrument we use to steer, but rather as part of the way we (...)
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  • Understanding Moral Responsibility Within the Context of the Free Will Debate.Stephen G. Morris - 2012 - Florida Philosophical Review 12 (1):68-82.
    Since philosophers generally agree that free will is understood partly by the relation it holds to moral responsibility, achieving a better understanding of free will requires that we have a clear idea of the sort of moral responsibility to which free will is thought to be connected. I argue that examining the substantive differences that exist between compatibilists and incompatibilists reveals a specific notion of moral responsibility that is best suited for philosophical debates regarding free will. Upon examination, it becomes (...)
     
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  • Is Collective Agency a Coherent Idea? Considerations From the Enactive Theory of Agency.Mog Stapleton & Tom Froese - 2015 - In Catrin Misselhorn (ed.), Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Springer Verlag. pp. 219-236.
    Whether collective agency is a coherent concept depends on the theory of agency that we choose to adopt. We argue that the enactive theory of agency developed by Barandiaran, Di Paolo and Rohde (2009) provides a principled way of grounding agency in biological organisms. However the importance of biological embodiment for the enactive approach might lead one to be skeptical as to whether artificial systems or collectives of individuals could instantiate genuine agency. To explore this issue we contrast the concept (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Importance of the Compatibility Question: Comments on Mark Balaguer’s Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem.Michael McKenna - 2012 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-12.
  • May Conscious Mind Give a “Scientific Definition” of Consciousness?Bignetti Enrico - 2019 - Open Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):439-451.
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  • The Idea of Will.M. M. Dorenbosch Drs - unknown
    This article presents a new conceptual view on the conscious will. This new concept approaches our will from the perspective of the requirements of our neural-muscular system and not from our anthropocentric perspective. This approach not only repositions the will at the core of behavior control, it also integrates the studies of Libet and Wegner, which seem to support the opposite. The will does not return as an instrument we use to steer, but rather as part of the way we (...)
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  • The Phenomenology of Choice.Emmanuel Baierlé - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Fribourg
  • Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):310-331.
    Free will, if such there be, involves free choosing: the ability to mentally choose an outcome, where the outcome is 'free' in being, in some substantive sense, up to the agent of the choice. As such, it is clear that the questions of how to understand free will and mental causation are connected, for events of seemingly free choosing are mental events that appear to be efficacious vis-a-vis other mental events as well as physical events. Nonetheless, the free will and (...)
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  • Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment.Eddy Nahmias - 2016 - In David Schmidtz & Carmen Pavel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Freedom. Oxford University Press.
    I offer analyses of free will in terms of a complex set of psychological capacities agents possess to varying degrees and have varying degrees of opportunities to exercise effectively, focusing on the under-appreciated but essential capacities for imagination. For an agent to have free will is for her to possess the psychological capacities to make decisions—to imagine alternatives for action, to select among them, and to control her actions accordingly—such that she is the author of her actions and can deserve (...)
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  • Free Will and Mental Disorder: Exploring the Relationship.Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):429-443.
    A link between mental disorder and freedom is clearly present in the introduction of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It mentions “an important loss of freedom” as one of the possible defining features of mental disorder. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how “an important loss of freedom” should be understood. In order to get a clearer view on the relationship between mental disorder and (a loss of) freedom, in this article, I will explore (...)
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