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Four Views on Free Will Hardcover – July 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1405134859 ISBN-10: 1405134852 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (July 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405134852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405134859
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,271,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

?This book presents four recent positions on free will in a clear and accessible way, along with their authors? responses to each other?s position. The discussion carries the discussion of the free will problem forward, and moreover raises interesting metaphilosophical questions about the debate itself: Where is this debate going? Where might it go next? Where should it go next?? (Metaphilosophy, January 2009)

?Four Views on Free Will serves as an excellent introduction to many of the central issues in the contemporary free will and moral responsibility literature. It is very readable; the chapters are approachable for advanced undergraduates or graduate students, and it has a very helpful and thorough index for cross-referencing topics between the various chapters.? (Social Theory and Practice, April 2009)

?The four main essays are clearly written and argued, and the shorter articles are very useful as illustrations of how philosophers debate. Highly recommended.? (Choice Reviews)

Review

"There is no better introduction to the debate available. This is a book that will be read with profit by anyone who opens it, specialist or newcomer."
Neil Levy, Metapsychology Online Reviews

"Four Views on Free Will is an excellent introduction to the current debate regarding one of the most seductive of the perennial topics in philosophy. It is an especially welcome addition to Blackwell's "Great Debates in Philosophy" series. The goal is the presentation of a considerably more dialogical and engaging introduction to the main issues in an important domain of philosophical inquiry than can typically be achieved in a standard monograph. Four Views succeeds admirably in achieving this worthwhile goal."
Daniel Speak, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"This gem of a book provides a wonderfully accessible introduction to the free will debate by leading proponents of four major views, as well as a front row seat to a dynamic, up-to-the minute philosophical conversation."
–Dana Nelkin, University of California at San Diego

"This four-way debate is a fine addition to the Great Debates in Philosophy series. Four Views on Free Will is ideal for advanced undergraduate courses on free will."
–Alfred R. Mele, Florida State University


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S on October 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This slim volume serves as a fantastic introduction to the problems in philosophy on the subject of free will. What is unique about this book is that it gives equal weight to four different theories: libertarianism, compatibilism, incompatibilism, and revisionism. These are hardly the only four theories out there, but they are definitely the most important and the most seriously considered options.

After the four theorists are done laying out their case for their preferred view, there are chapters where each philosopher responds to the claims the others have made. This structure is important because it enables the reader to understand why a philosopher might believe a certain view without the reader himself believing it. This knowledgeable stance is vital to communicating the problems of moral responsibility and free will in an academic setting.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jah on June 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Each of the four essays primary essays in this book provide very clear and concise introductions to their respective views of free will. The essays are written so as to be quite approachable to those who are not well-steeped in the contemporary free will debates; and it is also quite useful for those who do study free will, in that it provides a cursory overview of the key points of each view. This book would be perfect for an upper-division Metaphysics course, which covers free will and moral responsibility. Highly recommended.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on October 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a fabulous intro to the topic of free will. It shouldn't be too difficult a read for most and gives a great overview of the arguments for each position. Also, it introduces many of the same ideas that a basic intro book would, but in the context of argument, which can make it more interesting for those more well versed in philosophy.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By olenka on June 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of my favorite books.
It helped me to define my beliefs.
Additionally, it gave me argumentative strength in debates with my philosophy professor.
Particularly, the book was crucial in my defending an opposing view to that of my professor who tried to convince the whole class an entire semester that free will did not exist.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Clifford J. Stevens on July 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
David Bohm in his "Causality and Chance in Modern Physics" indicated a fifth view of free will, and it is simply expressed:

The Laws of Physics, such as gravity or the Laws of Dynamics, provide physical perameters in which free will operates ACCORDING TO ITS OWN LAWS.

He gives this example:

"If we wish to fly, what we must do is to have a deeper and more accurate conception of the laws of Dynamics; and on the basis of this construct suitable devices such as aeroplanes, dirigibles, rockets, etc.

"Thus, in the last analysis, the laws of nature do not depend on how we think about,or on WHAT WE CHOOSE TO DO, but our actions must be guided by correct conceptions of these laws if they are to lead to the resulys that we aim for."

The other four views seem to be without demonstrations ad experimentum, and appear to be the mere juggling of concepts without any experimental foundation, and are not science but philosophical theory.

Father Clifford Stevens
Boys Town, Nebraska
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