Belief in Free Will Relates to Attributions of Intentionality and Judgments of Responsibility

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


Oliver Genschow Marcel Brass Free will is a cornerstone of our society and relates to nearly everything we care about. The most prominent example in this respect may be our legal system in which punishment strongly depends on the degree to which a person acted “freely” (e. g. , Newman & Weitzer, 1956) . Thus, not surprisingly, across cultures (Sarkissian et al. , 2010) and ages (Nichols, 2004) , most people believe that they have free will (see also Baumeister et al. , 2009; Nahmias et al. , 2005) . At the same time, there is a long-standing philosophical debate about whether free will actually exists (e. g. , Dennett, 2015; Van Inwagen, 1983) . In the last few decades, prominent voices in cognitive neuroscience and psychology have entered this debate by claiming that free will is nothing more than an illusion (e. g. , Crick, 1994; Harris, 2012; Wegner,...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Philosophy of Free Will and Responsibility
EditorsThomas Nadelhoffer, Andrew Monroe
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationLondon,
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date01.01.2022
ISBN (Print)978-1-3501-8811-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3501-8811-2, 978-1-3501-8809-9
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2022
Externally publishedYes