- Hardcover: 332 pages
- Publisher: Lexington Books (July 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0739177311
- ISBN-13: 978-0739177310
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,111,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility
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For those who have tuned out the free will literature, there are a few chapters that are novel and well worth your attention. Then for the free will aficionados, at least most of the chapters will be of interest. And for anyone considering assigning this book or portions of it for an upper-level or graduate course on free will, there are several chapters that will be informative and catch students up on much of the state of the debate. This is, in fact, one of the strengths of the collection; there is something here for everyone. ... On the whole, this collection is an excellent contribution to the ongoing free will debate. Those interested or engaged in that debate will find much to appreciate (or argue vociferously against), including those chapters that could not be fit into this review. And even for those readers who only occasionally re-acquaint themselves with this debate, there are certain chapters well worth their time. (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)
Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility is a terrifically clear book and a welcome addition to the debate about free will. (Patheos)
What’s wonderful about this compendium is both its inclusion of the broad range of approaches and disciplines now engaged in the growing literature on the critique of free will, but also the substantive character of many of the essays contributed. . . .The reader can get a real sense of the contours of the arguments and issues on the illusion or skeptical side of the free will debate. Moreover, there is some good transdisciplinary work here, not just side-by-side essays by scientists and philosophers talking past each other. The volume tells us where the field currently is and also gives us a sense of how the free will debate is actually advancing toward greater understanding. Perhaps we can even discern some glimmer of hope for a resolution or a degree of consensus that could, in the near future, underlie or give rise to practical engagements to bring about significant social transformations and innovations toward a more humane society. Kudos to Caruso. (Neuroethics)
Just 20 years ago, skepticism about free will and moral responsibility was a position that few in the philosophical community took seriously. That has changed, thanks in large part to the work of the authors in this volume. Caruso has collected contributions from the most prominent proponents and critics of free will skepticism. His insightful and engaging introduction sets the stage beautifully for philosophers and non-philosophers alike. Anyone interested in this topic of such profound importance should buy this book.
(Tamler Sommers, University of Houston)
About the Author
Gregg D. Caruso is associate professor of philosophy and chair of the humanities department at Corning Community College, SUNY. He is author of Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will (Lexington Books, 2012).
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Chapter 3 is a great example of how one can utter a string of nonsensical statements, for lack of understanding of the subject at hand. Says the author, verbatim, “the interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, the application of that Mathematics to the world, has long been allowed to be logically a mess, and it would be called so more often except for excessive deference to physics and to science.” And he goes on with still more on the subject. Sure, we scientists must be some kind of demi-gods, that’s why the world allows us to present a “logical mess” without rebutting us. It is a shame that such display of ignorance be allowed to be published.
The author of chapter 4, quoting still another author, says, “our basic status as distinctively free and morally responsible agents should not depend on the arcane ruminations - and deliverances - of theoretical physicists and cosmologists” (arcane ruminations?) The same comments apply as I said about chapter 3. I am sure not all the other authors are so sadly unfamiliar with the science they try to use to corroborate their statements, but the above examples are enough that I cannot recommend the book for anyone, familiar with the subject or not. I do not believe it deserves anyone's confidence.
After that I read fragments and paragraphs from one or another chapter, but I did not find anything worthy or valuable or enlightening or novel, even considering this book appears to be kind of a review, with precious little originality.