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Conscious Cogn. 2013 Mar;22(1):53-63. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.11.007. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Pereboom and premises: asking the right questions in the experimental philosophy of free will.

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  • 1Department of Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts, Schreiner University, 2100 Memorial Boulevard, Kerrville, TX 78028-5697, United States.


Sommers (2010) argues that experimental philosophers of free will have largely been asking the wrong question - the question whether philosophically naïve individuals think that free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism. The present studies begin to alleviate this concern by testing the intuitive plausibility of Pereboom's (2001) four case argument. The general pattern of responses from two experiments does not support Pereboom's predictions. Moreover, those who were high in the personality trait emotional stability tended to judge that manipulated agents were more free and morally responsible compared to individuals low in emotional stability.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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