Chapter 44. Scientific Challenges to Free Will

  1. Timothy O'Connor Professor of Philosophy member2 and
  2. Constantine Sandis Senior Lecturer3,4
  1. Eddy Nahmias Associate Professor

Published Online: 29 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323528.ch44

A Companion to the Philosophy of Action

A Companion to the Philosophy of Action

How to Cite

Nahmias, E. (2010) Scientific Challenges to Free Will, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (eds T. O'Connor and C. Sandis), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323528.ch44

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Indiana University, USA

  2. 3

    Oxford Brookes University, UK

  3. 4

    New York University in London, UK

Author Information

  1. Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JUL 2010
  2. Published Print: 30 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405187350

Online ISBN: 9781444323528



  • scientific challenges to free will;
  • net effect of influx of scientific information - a rejection of free will;
  • philosophical debates about free will - whether free will compatible with determinism;
  • indeterministic interactions at microphysical level - no effect on the way things happen at neurobiological level;
  • mechanism, the view that mental phenomena - explained in terms of component neurobiological parts and in terms of organization;
  • modular epiphenomenalism;
  • bolstering Libet's case - “subjective experience of freedom, no more than an illusion;
  • Wegner's focus on where people lack an experience - of consciously willing a bodily movement that they in fact brought about


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • References