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Free Will?: An investigation into whether we have free will, or whether I was always going to write this book Paperback – November 3, 2010
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While the book is organized into sections and chapters, their content repeats somewhat, and subjects and themes cross between chapters and sections freely. I did not find the book to have any linear or cumulative structure to it, though it seemed to break down into three main portions. The first portion of the book introduces the reader to the problem - that Free Will seems to be incompatible with either causation or randomness, and pretty much everything seems to be either caused or random, so there is no obvious method that Free Will could work. Pearce introduces the Libertarian, Compatabilist, and Determinist POVs as ways to resolve this conflict, and expresses his views that Libertarianism is incoherent, Compatabilism is just sugar-coated Determinism, and that he is a happy Determinist. He also introduces his theme of second-guessing the judicial system, in particular its retributive and judgmental aspects.
The middle portion of the book elaborates on these three POVs. While it does not add much to understanding of Libertarianism or Compatabilism, this portions discussion on Determinism was particularly interesting.Read more ›
Excellent book and probably should be the starting place for those interested in the topic, regardless if you come from a secular or a theistic background. The author includes the facts of determinism also while considering some of the Christian claims which I thought was very interesting.
Come join the Tippling philosophers and get ready to have your mind stimulated.
The author convincingly shows that determinism is borne out in countless recent scientific discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, biochemistry, physics and genetics which new findings are important and have wide application in all aspects of our lives.Read more ›
I really think the 50 pages of text on biblical prophecy and theological determinism was a little much. Obviously it is tangentially related to the topic but he spent way too much time on it and I got tired of it. The book would have been better with a little less of this, however it is so good otherwise I still give it 5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not good at writing, so I wasn't going to write this review - so much for free will! To make it easy for me, I just want to say that I agree with all the 5-star reviews here;... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rike
I'm writing an article that involves the conundrum of free will, and this was an excellent introduction.Published 12 months ago by John C. Sheldon
Jonathan Pearce has written what is quite possibly the most detailed explanation of the problems with free will. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Chandler Isaac Klebs
Pretty much rubbish. To many contradictions. He likes to ramble with long drawn out analogies that turn around and make himself look foolish. Read morePublished 23 months ago by New image
This book is a wonderful introduction to the philosophy of free will. It delves into libertarian views (e.g. Kane), compatibilist views (e.g. Read morePublished on May 29, 2014 by 'Trick Slattery
Since the time I was young, the idea of free will has always resonated with me. I was a firm believer in dualistic free will for many, many years, but seldom ever took the time to... Read morePublished on March 11, 2014 by Ron Massine
An excellent, informal discussion of the topic of 'free will' from philosophical and naturalistic perspectives. Read morePublished on August 20, 2012 by YF
The first tenet of Humanist doctrine is that the will is the primary faculty of Man and the second is that the freedom of the will is illusory, and that human behavior is... Read morePublished on June 16, 2012 by Clifford J. Stevens