Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility

In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 142-57 (2016)
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Abstract

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 illustration, we discuss an error theory for incompatibilist intuitions proposed by Eddy Nahmias and colleagues, the role that empirical studies might have in the assessment of manipulation arguments for incompatibilism, and the suggestion that empirical studies reveal that core criteria for moral responsibility ought not to be applied invariantly across different sorts of cases.

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Author Profiles

Derk Pereboom
Cornell University
Gunnar Björnsson
Stockholm University

Citations of this work

Explaining (away) the epistemic condition on moral responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press. pp. 146–162.
Explaining away epistemic skepticism about culpability.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Shoemaker David (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 141–164.
Moral psychology: Empirical approaches.John Doris & Stephen Stich - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What is the Difference Between Weakness of Will and Compulsion?August Gorman - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-16.

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References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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