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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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Introduction: Psychology and Free Will

Introduction: Psychology and Free Will

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Introduction: Psychology and Free Will
Source:
Are We Free?
Author(s):

John Baer

James C Kaufman

Roy F Baumeister

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189636.003.0001

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book and summarizes each of the chapters. The book looks both at recent experimental and theoretical work directly related to free will and at ways psychologists deal with the philosophical problems long associated with the question of free will. Topics include the relationship between determinism and free will, the cognitive processes or mental structures that underlie volition, the role of consciousness in the exercise of free will, personal responsibility for actions, the possibility that free will is an illusion; how free will might emerge and function, even in a psyche that is run largely via unconscious processes; how we might explain the nearly universal belief in free will, and how a psychology of conscious free will be tested and demonstrated experimentally.

Keywords:   consciousness, determinism, volition, personal responsibility, unconscious processes

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