Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Action Theory’ Category

What follows is a work in progress, and I would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback pertaining to my argumentation and the strength of my reply to the RPAP. As stated in the body of the post, additional information on the two primary articles cited can be found in the endnotes at the end of this post.

 

Frankfurtian-style counterfactual intervener scenarios of all different stripes hold a special place in discussions of free will and moral responsibility. In some situations, they are a necessary evil with which one must contend, and in others they are an insurmountable obstacle for some theories. Many journal articles and full-length books on these topics dedicate large sections of text to attempting to reconcile Frankfurtian-style counterfactual intervener scenarios (CIS) against Frankfurt’s modification of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP). I believe that, using Galen Strawson’s iteration of what he deems the “Basic Argument” for the impossibility of moral responsibility, I can at best obviate Frankfurt’s Revised Principle of Alternate Possibilities (RPAP) and at worst side-step the need for addressing the PAP/RPAP by way of positing a new principle based on Strawson’s Basic Argument, what I shall call the Principle of the Basic Argument (PBA).

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Patricia Churchland discusses eliminative materialism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzT0jHJdq7Q

(more…)

Read Full Post »

In “Agent Causation” Timothy O’Connor makes a passing assertion that there are many unresolved questions for materialist agency as he posits it, and that many of these questions are empirical in nature and can only be resolved with “extensive advancements within neurobiological science.” [1] Two particularly salient questions are (1) “Precisely to what extent is an ordinary human’s behavior directly regulated by the agent himself, and to what extent is it controlled by microdeterministic processes?”[2] And (2) whether microdeterministic processes can be predicted or not. While O’Connor may believe that advances in neuroscience will reinforce rather than call into question his theory, this is not the case. Stretching from the 1980s to a recent study in 2008, neuroscience has demonstrated that predictive brain activity can be seen to occur prior to a test subject’s consciousness of making a decision. From Libet to present, these studies provide damaging replies to the questions which O’Connor’s theory leaves unanswered. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Hello to All!

In my previous post (also on Reid), one of our fellow contributors made note of the role of motives in differentiating Hume and Reid on the topic of Freedom & Determinism. This reminded me of some of the interesting things that Reid mentions about motives in one of his Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind. I wish to present excerpted quotes from the work, which encompass the 8 points made by this philosopher on the topic. You can find the work I’m pulling the quotes from here (make sure to click on “Complete Text,” and, once the pdf has opened, go down to Chapter 4).

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Yale will be hosting a bootcamp and workshop on Experimental Philosophy of Free Will for graduate students and faculty:

The Experimental Philosophy of Free Will Workshop and Boot Camp is an opportunity for philosophers to gain the skills they need to conduct cutting-edge research in the experimental philosophy of free will. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Aaron requested a more full-blooded iteration of my stance on morality for consideration and I thought I would oblige, as it is something on which I would certainly like feedback. In what follows I would like to first address why I do not believe human beings are morally responsible for their behavior in the manner commonly thought necessary, and second posit that the moral responsibility of human beings is not necessary for possessing judgements as to what actions are right or wrong.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

From a recent article in the Telegraph on neuroscience, freewill, and determinism:

“What happens if someone commits a crime, and it turns out that there’s a lesion in that brain area? Is that person responsible? Is the damage to the machine sufficient for us to exempt them from that very basic human idea that we are responsible for our actions? I don’t know.” He refers to a major project in America, where “lawyers, neuroscientists, philosophers and psychiatrists are all trying to work out what impact brain science has on our socio-legal sense of responsibility.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »