Plain Person's Free Will

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Abstract:

In my experience, plain persons (here meaning persons who are neither philosophers or cognitive scientists) tend to accept something like a libertarian position on free will, namely that free will exists and is inconsistent with determinism. That position is widely debunked by philosophers and cognitive scientists. My view at present is that something like this plain person's position is not only defensible but likely to be closer to the truth than opposing views. To put this to the test, I have written a simple and straightforward outline of what I hope is a philosophically and scientifically respectable version of the plain person's position on free will, and have offered it for demolition by those who say such a view is untenable. My account of free will is a robust one, explicitly inconsistent with determinism and intended to support equally robust views of personal responsibility for conduct. I see three broad areas of difficulty for this account.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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