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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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Free Will Is Un-natural

Free Will Is Un-natural

Chapter:
(p.128) 7 Free Will Is Un-natural
Source:
Are We Free?
Author(s):

John A Bargh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189636.003.0007

Much current research in social psychology has demonstrated unconscious impulses or guides to situationally appropriate behavior. These come from immediate and automatic evaluative, motivational, and perceptual mental processes. These in turn come from evolution, from culture, and from imitative and vicarious early learning; in children as well as adults they provide behavioral suggestions or impulses that we commonly act on though we do not intend or are aware of those influences. It is concluded from this research that we do not need the philosophical concept of free will to explain the origin of our own action, and to insert the concept of free agency is contrary to a natural science understanding of human action.

Keywords:   unconscious, evolution, priming, automaticity, motivation, social behavior

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