From Uncaused Will to Conscious Choice: The Need to Study, Not Speculate About People’s Folk Concept of Free Will
Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):211-224 (2010)
AbstractPeople’s concept of free will is often assumed to be incompatible with the deterministic, scientific model of the universe. Indeed, many scholars treat the folk concept of free will as assuming a special form of nondeterministic causation, possibly the notion of uncaused causes. However, little work to date has directly probed individuals’ beliefs about what it means to have free will. The present studies sought to reconstruct this folk concept of free will by asking people to define the concept (Study 1) and by confronting them with a neuroscientific claim that free will is an illusion (Study 2), which invited them to either reconcile or contrast free will with determinism. The results suggest that the core of people’s concept of free will is a choice that fulfills one’s desires and is free from internal or external constraints. No evidence was found for metaphysical assumptions about dualism or indeterminism.
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References found in this work
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Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
Citations of this work
Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions.Dylan Murray & Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):434-467.
The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs About Agency and Responsibility.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Lisa Thomson Ross - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 25:27-41.
Qualitative Tools and Experimental Philosophy.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (8):1128-1141.
It’s OK If ‘My Brain Made Me Do It’: People’s Intuitions About Free Will and Neuroscientific Prediction.Eddy Nahmias, Jason Shepard & Shane Reuter - 2014 - Cognition 133 (2):502-516.
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