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Moral Psychology, Volume 4Free Will and Moral Responsibility$
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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026680

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026680.001.0001

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A Social Perspective on Debates about Free Will

A Social Perspective on Debates about Free Will

(p.381) 10 A Social Perspective on Debates about Free Will
Moral Psychology, Volume 4

Victoria K. Lee

Lasana T. Harris

The MIT Press

Lee and Harris argue that people's overall positions on free will depend less on arguments and more on social rewards, so members of a coherent social group will end up holding similar positions on free will and moral responsibility that conflict with positions held just as strongly by members of other social groups. They apply this point to academic disputes among scholars trained in different disciplines, especially philosophy, law, neuroscience, and psychology. Social psychologists Chapman and Cunningham largely agree and provide further support from accounts of complex decisionmaking, including moral decisionmaking. In contrast, Vargas, a philosopher, doubts that academic debates can be understood completely in terms of social “groupishness.” Lee and Harris reply by suggesting that many of the points made counter to their argument actually support their position.

Keywords:   Free will, Moral responsibility, Social psychology, Social groups, Philosophy

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