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Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy

Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy

Author Bob Doyle
Publication Date 05/2011
Section Espresso Book Machine Books / Printed Here
Format Paperback
ISBN x4545

This first book on philosophy by local Cambridge philosopher Bob Doyle is a college-level sourcebook and textbook on the problem of free will and determinism. It contains a history of the free will problem, a taxonomy of current free will positions, the standard argument against free will, the physics, biology, and neuroscience of free will, the most plausible and practical libertarian solution of the problem, and reviews of the work of the leading determinist, Ted Honderich, the leading libertarian, Robert Kane, the leading compatibilist, Daniel Dennett, and the agnostic, Alfred Mele.

John Searle called it a scandal that after all the centuries of writing about free will, we have not made much progress. According to Doyle, the more serious scandal today is that academic philosophers are convincing many young students that they are deterministic biological machines.

Doyle recounts the many different forms of determinism that have been used to deny human freedom and responsibility. To end the scandal, philosophers need to teach a two-stage model of free will and creativity, one that Doyle finds in the work of a dozen philosophers and scientists going back to William James talk to Harvard Divinity School students in Lowell Lecture Hall in 1884.

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