This episode is my response to the The Myth of Free Will (2007), which was sent to me by the book's editor Cris Evatt. I felt the topic was very relevant to my recent discussions on the Brain Science Podcast, where we have been exploring the evidence that a surprising amount of decision-making occurs beyond our conscious control.
Listen to Books and Ideas #12 Now
I have tried to include some interesting references and links below, but I hope you will share more links (especially good blogs) at the new Brain Science Podcast Forum, which is located at http://brainscienceforum.com. I have set aside a section under "Off-Topic Discussions" for discussions about Books and Ideas.
The subject of free will is quite controversial. This episode is intended to stimulate thought and discussion, rather than to convince you that I have the answers.
The difference between political and psychological free will
Can a non-physical soul or spirit be controlling our brain's decisions?
Naturalism (What is Naturalism? by Thomas W. Clark founder of The Center For Naturalism)
What about choice and responsibility?
What does neuroscience have to say about free will?
Partial List of Writers Whose Work I discuss
- John A Bargh of Yale University
- William B Provine of Cornell University
- Ramesh S. Balsekar
- Steven Pinker of Harvard
- Francis Crick and The Astonishing Hypothesis
- Clay Shirky of NYU
- Tamler Sommers of the University of Minnesota, Morris
- Susan Blackmore
References and Further Reading
Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions (2006) by Read Montague (Dr. Montague was interviewed on the Brain Science Podcast #15.)
The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them (2003)
by Owen Flanagan
Freedom Evolves (2003) by Daniel C. Dennett
Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1994) by Francis Crick
Links of Interest
Center For Naturalism
The Garden of Forking Paths-A philosophy blog devoted to agency theory, including related issues in Philosphy of Action, Moral Psychology, Metaphysics and Ethics
I will try to expand this list in the future.