Experimental Philosophy and Free Will

  title={Experimental Philosophy and Free Will},
  author={Tamler Sommers},
  journal={Philosophy Compass},
This paper develops a sympathetic critique of recent experimental work on free will and moral responsibility. Section 1 offers a brief defense of the relevance of experimental philosophy to the free will debate. Section 2 reviews a series of articles in the experimental literature that probe intuitions about the ‘‘compatibility question’’—whether we can be free and morally responsible if determinism is true. Section 3 argues that these studies have produced valuable insights on the factors that… Expand
Free Will and Experimental Philosophy: An Intervention 17
This chapter reviews and then criticizes the dominant approach that experimental philosophers have adopted in their studies on free will and moral responsibility. Section “Experimental Philosophy andExpand
Experimental Philosophy and the Compatibility of Free Will and Determinism: A Survey
The debate over whether free will and determinism are compatible is controversial, and produces wide scholarly discussion. This paper argues that recent studies in experimental philosophy suggestExpand
Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility?: A Case for Rethinking Their Relationship and the Design of Experimental Studies in Moral Psychology
Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moralExpand
Pereboom and premises: Asking the right questions in the experimental philosophy of free will
  • Adam Feltz
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Consciousness and Cognition
  • 2013
The present studies begin to alleviate concern by testing the intuitive plausibility of Pereboom's (2001) four case argument by testing whether philosophically naïve individuals think that free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism. Expand
The experimental critique and philosophical practice
Abstract Some experimental philosophers have criticized the standard intuition-based methodology in philosophy. One worry about this criticism is that it is just another version of the generalExpand
Experimental philosophy.
The present review focuses on research in experimental philosophy on four central questions: why is it that people's moral judgments appear to influence their intuitions about seemingly nonmoral questions, do people think that moral questions have objective answers, and do people see morality as fundamentally relative. Expand
Experimental philosophy of actual and counterfactual free will intuitions
  • Adam Feltz
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Consciousness and Cognition
  • 2015
Five experiments suggested that everyday free will and moral responsibility judgments about some hypothetical thought examples differed from free will and moral responsibility judgments about theExpand
Predicting Philosophical Disagreement
We review evidence showing that disagreement in folk and expert philosophical intuitions can be predicted by global, heritable personality traits. The review focuses on recent studies of intuitionsExpand
Consciousness, free will, and moral responsibility: Taking the folk seriously
Evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness is offered, and results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits. Expand
A Unified Empirical Account of Responsibility Judgments
Skeptical worries about moral responsibility seem to be widely appreciated and deeply felt. To address these worries—if nothing else to show that they are mistaken—theories of moral responsibilityExpand


Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions about free will and moral responsibility
Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from actionExpand
Experimental philosophy is the name for a recent movement whose participants use the methods of experimental psychology to probe the way people think about philosophical issues and then examine howExpand
Is Belief in Free Will a Cultural Universal
Recent experimental research has revealed surprising patterns in people's intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. One limitation of this research, however, is that it has been conductedExpand
Are the folk agent-causationists?
:  Experimental examination of how the folk conceptualize certain philosophically loaded notions can provide information useful for philosophical theorizing. In this paper, we explore issues raisedExpand
In disputes about conceptual analysis, each side typically appeals to pre-theoretical ‘intuitions’ about particular cases. Recently, many naturalistically oriented philosophers have suggested thatExpand
Analytic epistemology and experimental philosophy
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part asExpand
Natural Compatibilism versus Natural Incompatibilism: Back to the Drawing Board
:  In the free will literature, some compatibilists and some incompatibilists claim that their views best capture ordinary intuitions concerning free will and moral responsibility. One goal ofExpand
Kauppinen argues that experimental philosophy cannot help us to address questions about the semantics of our concepts and that it therefore has little to contribute to the discipline of philosophy.Expand
Do judgments about freedom and responsibility depend on who you are? Personality differences in intuitions about compatibilism and incompatibilism
It is argued that identifying groups of people who have specific and diverse intuitions about freedom and moral responsibility offers the possibility for theoretical advancement in philosophy and psychology, and may in part explain why some perennial philosophical debates have proven intractable. Expand
An Essay on Free Will.
In this stimulating and thought-provoking book, the author defends the thesis that free will is incompatible with determinism. He disputes the view that determinism is necessary for moralExpand