Are You Determined?

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Are You Determined?

<p>There is recent popularization of the denial of free will known as “Free Will Skepticism.” Libet’s science experiments in the 1980s cast doubt whether we have conscious control of our actions.

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There is recent popularization of the denial of free will known as “Free Will Skepticism.” Libet’s science experiments in the 1980s cast doubt whether we have conscious control of our actions. Philosophers too are skeptical: Galen Strawson writes that free will is just incoherent, therefore impossible. Hard Determinists argue that since universal determinism is true it precludes free choice. These views face the problem answering why most of us have the belief that during the moment of choice, we believe we can do otherwise, (Illusionism). This short lecture looks particular at the arguments of Sam Harris from his popular book ‘Free Will’ (2012).


SUGGESTED READING


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The free will and determinism dilemma.
  • Hard determinism and free will skepticism.
  • Free will illusionism and impossibilism.
  • Review and critique of Sam Harris’s position.



PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the various positions held by free will skeptics and hard determinists.
  2. Compare the differences between free will illusionism and free will impossibilism.