Freedom regained

by Julian Baggini [This is an edited extract from Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will, University of Chicago Press. Not to be reproduced without permission of the publisher.] We’ve heard a lot in recent years about how scientists — neuroscientists in particular — have “discovered” that actions in the body and thoughts in the … Continue reading Freedom regained

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Lee Smolin and the status of modern physics

by Joe Boswell [This is the first interview we are publishing here at Scientia Salon, hopefully the beginning of a new interesting trend at the magazine.] I write a science and philosophy blog called Adams’ Opticks [1], and about a year and a half ago I published an in-depth critique of Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn, … Continue reading Lee Smolin and the status of modern physics

The Peer-to-Peer Hypothesis and a new theory of free will

by Marcus Arvan [This essay is part of a special “free will week” at Scientia Salon. The Editor promises not to touch the topic again for a long while after this particular orgy, of course assuming he has any choice in the matter…] Nick Bostrom [1] is well-known for arguing on probabilistic grounds that we are … Continue reading The Peer-to-Peer Hypothesis and a new theory of free will

Free Will, the Basics

by Massimo Pigliucci [This essay is part of a special “free will week” at Scientia Salon. The Editor promises not to touch the topic again for a long while after this particular orgy, of course assuming he has any choice in the matter...] Sometimes it’s good, or even necessary, to go back to the basics. … Continue reading Free Will, the Basics

Choosing a compatibilist free will perspective

by Dwayne Holmes [This essay is part of a special “free will week” at Scientia Salon. The Editor promises not to touch the topic again for a long while after this particular orgy, of course assuming he has any choice in the matter…] Despite the question having been around forever, the topic of Free Will … Continue reading Choosing a compatibilist free will perspective

Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism — Part 2

by Gregg D. Caruso [This two-part essay was inspired by the author’s TEDx talk on the same topic, which can be viewed here.] [1] I. Addressing Pragmatic Concerns with Free Will Skepticism Let me begin with the concern that giving up free will belief will increase anti-social behavior. This concern has been fueled largely by … Continue reading Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism — Part 2

Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism — Part 1

by Gregg D. Caruso [This two-part essay was inspired by the author’s TEDx talk on the same topic, which can be viewed here.] [1] Contemporary theories of free will tend to fall into one of two general categories, namely, those that insist on and those that are skeptical about the reality of human freedom and … Continue reading Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism — Part 1

Free will and psychological determinism

by Steve Snyder Inspired mainly by Marko Vojinovic’s recent essay on physical determinism [1], but also by Mark O’Brien on consciousness [2], Massimo Pigliucci on Hume and skepticism [3], and perhaps a bit by Graham Priest on logic and Buddhism [4], all which skirted the edges of the free will debate, I am going to … Continue reading Free will and psychological determinism

My philosophy, so far — part II

by Massimo Pigliucci In the first part [19] of this ambitious (and inevitably, insufficient) essay I sought to write down and briefly defend a number of fundamental positions that characterize my “philosophy,” i.e., my take on important questions concerning philosophy, science and the nature of reality. I have covered the nature of philosophy itself (as … Continue reading My philosophy, so far — part II

Why Phi Needs XPhi

by Mark O’Brien Humans are alone in the natural world (as far as we know) in the richness of our dealings with other members of our own species and in the fact that we have a complex language with which to negotiate these interactions. We have evolved a sophisticated suite of concepts and intuitions, and … Continue reading Why Phi Needs XPhi