“I think the most important feature about Free Will is that it’s something that should matter” — Daniel Dennett, Moral Philosopher
This month, two of the premiere thinkers on the question of Free Will, Greg Caruso and Daniel Dennett, are co-authoring a new book called Just Deserts: Debating Free Will. Aimed a newcomers to the Free Will debate, the book promises to faithfully present two of the most popular views on Free Will—compatibilism and Free Will skepticism.
According the the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, compatabilism is the view that Free Will is compatible with determinism and that believing in both is not illogical. Free Will skepticism, on the other hand, is the view that what we do, and who we are, are a result of factors outside of our control.
As I’ve written before, this debate has enormous implications for our society—especially with regard to our criminal justice system. But I also think the Free Will debate is important for our living moral lives. It should affect how we treat others and how we think about praise and blame of others.
This is why I’m going to read this book as soon as it comes out and I’m inviting all of you to do the same by trying a new format of discourse on Synapse—a book discussion. Following the release of the book, I will use Substack’s discussion threads feature to pose a question about the Free Will debate and invite all of you to weigh in with your opinion. You’ll receive an email like normal when this discussion goes live and can opt-in to receiving updates throughout the week.
Don’t feel like reading an entire book on the topic? No problem, just like many of my other essays, I will be providing you all with the key insights and ideas from the book in a future edition of Synapse.
If you’re interested, you can preorder the book on Amazon here.
Have a great week and stay warm!
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