SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Free Will as a Higher-Level Phenomenon
(Plenary Lecture, English, Location: HS E.002)

It has become increasingly common - especially in popular-science media - to suggest that free will is an illusion. Typically, people argue: free will requires property P, where P might be one or several of the following: intentional agency, alternative possibilities, or mental causation. But then they claim that physics, or some other fundamental science, shows that there is no such thing as P; P is a relic of a folk-psychological way of thinking. And so, it seems, there is no free will. I will argue that this line of reasoning is incorrect. It may well be true that there is no such thing as property P at the fundamental physical level. But this does not imply that there is no free will. Free will, I suggest, is a higher-level-phenomenon. If we are looking for free will and its prerequisites at the physical level, we are looking in the wrong place.

Chair: Laurenz Hudetz
Time: 16:30-18:00, 15 September 2017 (Friday)
Location: HS E.002

Christian List 
(London School of Economics, UK)



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