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CFI–DC Drinking Skeptically Baltimore Message Board › "What does cognitive science have to tell us about free will and responsibil

"What does cognitive science have to tell us about free will and responsibility?", Daniel Dennett @ Johns Hopkins November 28, 2012 4PM

Bruce P.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:00 pm Special Lecture (Reception to follow)

Johns Hopkins University Hodson Hall 110 Homewood Campus

Hosted by: The Departments of Cognitive Science; Philosophy;
Psychological and Brain Sciences; and the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain

Prof. Dan Dennett Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies,and
University Professor, and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy
at Tufts University

"What does cognitive science have to tell us about free will and

ABSTRACT: A recent chorus of eminent cognitive scientists (Daniel
Wegner, Wolf Singer, Chris Frith, Paul Bloom, Steven Pinker, Sam
Harris and others) have declared that “free will is an illusion”—and
some have gone on to say that moral responsibility is an illusion as
well.  These are radical and ill-considered claims. A calm review of
their presumed basis in the work of neuroscientists and psychologists
shows that free will is not an illusion-or if it is, color is an
illusion and so are dollars. When we reverse engineer the institutions
of moral responsibility, we find that they do not depend on the
conditions tradition supposes them to depend on, and they are well
worth maintaining, in reformed versions.

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