Free Will: The Basics  book cover
1st Edition

Free Will: The Basics

ISBN 9780415562201
Published January 29, 2013 by Routledge
160 Pages

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Book Description

The question of whether humans are free to make their own decisions has long been debated and it continues to be a controversial topic today. In Free Will: The Basics readers are provided with a clear and accessible introduction to this central but challenging philosophical problem. The questions which are discussed include:

  • Does free will exist? Or is it illusory?
  • Can we be free even if everything is determined by a chain of causes? If our actions are not determined, does this mean they are just random or a matter of luck?
  • In order to have the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility, must we have alternatives?
  • What can recent developments in science tell us about the existence of free will?

Because these questions are discussed without prejudicing one view over others and all technical terminology is clearly explained, this book is an ideal introduction to free will for the uninitiated.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  1. Introduction  2. The Compatibility Issue  3. Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities  4. Some Current Compatibilist Proposals  5. Some Current Incompatibilist Proposals  6. Other Positions  7. Free Will and Science  8. Where Does This Leave Us? Some Concluding Thoughts  Glossary  Index

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Meghan Griffith is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Davidson College. She specializes in free will and action theory.