No one frequenting our Garden in recent years could have failed to notice the large amount of discussion devoted to questions broadly about the implications of living without free will: questions such as whether we should welcome the prospect, and if not, what (if anything) can and should be done about it. Some of those discussions have concerned the work of experimental philosophers, some have followed concern in the popular media about FW and the sciences, some have emerged from naturalism (such as Tom's post of a week ago), some have sung the pragmatic praises of hard determinism, and some have targeted my free will Illusionism. But a survey of the major philosophical journals shows no indication of any of this (with the telling exception of papers in experimental philosophy). Why?
One explanation might be "sociological": people publish papers from their thesis, which they chose based upon the interests of their supervisor: but Derek Pereboom was until recently in Vermont, I am in Haifa and have no FW graduates participating in the debate, Tamler was only born recently, and so on. People also tend to write about things they read about in the journals, which are naturally thought to be the important things (or at least the things that will get one published), and so debates tend to be inherently conservative. Another explanation could be that it's only a matter of time: there are already many graduates squirling away on an analysis of the meaning of life or forgiveness under hard determinism, or on refutations of the fears and hopes of Illusionism, and we are soon to be overwhelmed by published articles on such matters. Or perhaps there are other explanations. But, like Sherlock Holmes in the famous story, I am struck by the silence, and find it particularly odd in light of the repeated interest in the given topics, in the Garden.