Free will and moral responsibility: Gregg Caruso vs. Dan Dennett

Why Evolution Is True

The Aeon website has a good discussion between Dan Dennett, a free-will compatibilist, and Gregg Caruso, who calls himself a “hard incompatibilist”. (Caruso doesn’t call himself a “hard determinist” because he admits that some behaviors might be influenced by fundamental indeterminism, presumably of the quantum-mechanical sort.)

The piece, called “Just deserts: Can we be held morally responsible for our actions. Yes, says Daniel Dennett. No says Gregg Caruso. Reader, you decide” can be accessed by clicking on the screenshot below:

The discussion is good because it clearly delineates the difference between the two men’s views. It’s also clear and mutually respectful.

I, of course, am on Caruso’s side, believing that we have no “free will” in the classical sense—the libertarian, could-have-chosen-otherwise sense which most people think of as “free will”). Note, too, that most people think that in Caruso’s deterministic/naturalistic universe, people are not morally responsible…

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