Free Will

Is free will a matter of definition? Is it an illusion, a fiction? How would ›the death of free will‹ change our world, our moral and legal concepts? How can inductive – or deductive, or perhaps even ›abductive‹ – inferring explain the way free will is working? Saying free will is an illusion is »like inferring from discoveries in organic chemistry that life is an illusion just because living organisms are made up of non-living stuff«, Eddy Nahmias writes in his discussion of that ›big issue‹. He argues that »neuroscience does not kill free will«, perhaps because it’s not (yet) able to do so: Against the background of Charles Sanders Peirce’s ›Theory of Cognition‹ and its so called »Four Incapacities Claimed for Man«, human beings have »no conception of the absolutely incognizable«, and I think free will is such an incognizable entity. Would the death of free will be the death of God?

Eddy Nahmias. »Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will?« The Stone: Opinionator. The New York Times, Nov. 13, 2011, https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/is-neuroscience-the-death-of-free-will/.

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