Beyond free will: an empirical case for a capacity model of human agency Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/b2773x55v

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  • Although the question of free will has persisted throughout the history of philosophy as an important metaphysical consideration, rarely does the inquiry include empirical evidence from other disciplines concerned with human behavior. In this interdisciplinary paper, I combine the wisdom of psychologists, metaphysicians, and philosophers of science to comment on the problem. Research on cognitive organization, priming, spreading activation, and attribution is reviewed, and I challenge the notion of autonomous controlled processing. I argue from empirical psychological evidence that the concept of free will is an incoherent model for understanding the complex interrelatedness of human behavior. It amounts to little more than an historical placeholder that should be replaced by a descriptive framework rooted in science. I suggest as a replacement a capacity model of human agency, which allows for active, but not free, agents. Important metaphysical concepts such as personal identity, control, and responsibility can be maintained under this new framework and are, in fact, superior insofar as they are rooted in an accurate description of human functioning.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2006-01-09T14:02:58Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1Undergraduate Thesis Final Draft 11-29-05.doc: 260608 bytes, checksum: 8aa9e68f6541945b84dd3ef439a1769f (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Rebekah Lancelin (lancelir) on 2006-01-06T21:14:33ZNo. of bitstreams: 1Undergraduate Thesis Final Draft 11-29-05.doc: 260608 bytes, checksum: 8aa9e68f6541945b84dd3ef439a1769f (MD5)

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