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Are We Free?Psychology and Free Will$
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John Baer, James C. Kaufman, and Roy F. Baumeister

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189636

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189636.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

How Can Psychology Contribute to the Free Will Debate?

How Can Psychology Contribute to the Free Will Debate?

(p.10) 2 How Can Psychology Contribute to the Free Will Debate?
Are We Free?

Shaun Nichols

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an introductory overview of freedom and determinism. It contemplates common objections to determinism (presumed fatalism, denial of free choice, and negation of praise, blame, and responsibility). It identifies psychology's challenges to free will (evolutionary influences, genetic influences, brain control, parental/peer/cultural influences, and non-conscious influences). It indicates how psychological science nevertheless affirms human freedom, through research on self-determination and the benefits of personal control. Finally, it suggests how theological and practical wisdom converge with science in concluding that we are both the products of our biological and social histories, and the architects of our futures.

Keywords:   freedom, determinism, fatalism, responsibility, free will, self-determination, wisdom

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