Philosophy 39M

Fall 2012

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
39M Freshman&Sophomore Seminar: Free Will Clarke W 2-5 206 Wheeler

This seminar is an introduction to the problem of free will, i.e. the problem of how to justify our belief that we are free to choose between alternative courses of action. In the first half of the semester we will look at the history of the problem, paying special attention to its origins in antiquity. In the second half of the semester we will turn to the lively contemporary debate. Questions to be considered include: When and why did concerns about free will emerge? What does free will consist in? Is it possible for us to act freely if our behavior is determined by factors beyond our control? Is human freedom compatible with the existence of an omniscient God? What is the relation of free will to moral responsibility and to ethics?