Linked Questions

22 votes
8 answers

What does Schopenhauer mean by 'A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants'?

I first encountered the bolded quote on p 80, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD in Philosophy, U. Toronto), part of Chapter 6 on Thomas Hobbes, Rousseau, free will,...
4 votes
5 answers

If Free Will Is Proven Illusory, Is There a Case for Suppressing the Finding?

NOTE: This question does not assume the existence or non-existence of free will. Dan Dennett, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, states that when "...neuroscientists who've been going ...
10 votes
6 answers

Is the Münchhausen trilemma really a trilemma?

It claims there are three options of which none of them are satisfying. Circular argument doesn't prove anything because it's just when the premise is the same as the conclusion. x ∵ x Infinite ...
10 votes
7 answers

Strawson on Free Will: What are the most persuasive challenges to his position?

There are arguments against free will and moral responsibility which rely on strict causal determinism and/or determinism modified by quantum randomness. Criticisms of these views raise doubt as to ...
4 votes
3 answers

How might a decision be defined if it is to be defined as something other than an act (a 'thing done')?

This question represents the second I have asked in relation to an argument I posted here approximately a year ago, which aims at a proof for the impossibility of free will. It is inappropriate to ...
1 vote
9 answers

Proof for the Absence of Free Will (Revised)

Introduction Approximately 1 year ago, I posted a 'proof' for the absence of free will. The post drew a wide range of interesting and answers and comments. The most persuasive challenges related to ...
4 votes
1 answer

Most important modern/contemporary essays on free will

I enjoy philosophising about free will and formulating arguments as to why it cannot exist. I would like to write about my arguments so that they are relevant in today's literature, and so, I want to ...
3 votes
4 answers

Decision and volition: Can an act ever be voluntary in the absence of a decision to perform it?

Note: 'Act' here = 'A thing done'. Imagine two acts: The act of deciding to drink. The act of drinking. Suppose the decision to drink (Act 1) is involuntary. Is there any mechanism by which ...
4 votes
8 answers

What, if any, are the most important claims to be considered proven in the absence of observation; ie: claims derived from logic alone?

This question arose during contemplation of whether free will and/or moral responsibility might ever be proven real or illusory. Galen Strawson has proposed a proof for the impossibility of moral ...
6 votes
7 answers

Trouble understanding Chomsky's answers on the free will question

Now, I don't think there's any scientific grasp, any hint of an idea, as to how to explain free will. Suppose somebody argues that free will is an illusion. Okay. This could be the case, but I don't ...
14 votes
1 answer

What counters are there to Spinoza's argument that acts of free will create infinite regress?

My 16-to-21-year-old self was very preoccupied with free will. When I was 21 years old I rejected the notion as ill-defined as both my reason and my inner experience told me that my will was caused ...