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    Free will is not a testable hypothesis

    Northcott, Robert (2019) Free will is not a testable hypothesis. Erkenntnis 84 , pp. 617-631. ISSN 0165-0106.

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    Much recent work in neuroscience aims to shed light on whether we have free will. Can it? Can any science? To answer, we need to disentangle different notions of free will, and clarify what we mean by ‘empirical’ and ‘testable’. That done, my main conclusion is, duly interpreted: that free will is not a testable hypothesis. In particular, it is neither verifiable nor falsifiable by empirical evidence. The arguments for this are not a priori but rather are based on a posteriori consideration of the relevant neuroscientific investigations, as well as on standard philosophy of science work on the notion of testability.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Robert Northcott
    Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2018 09:40
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:38


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