I'm grateful to be joining the Flickering community, and as my first official act, here's an ad:
The final program for the first New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR), to be held Nov. 3-5 at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans, is posted here. Information about the workshop, as well as information on accommodations, may be found here. Registration is free, and to register, simply send an e-mail requesting it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see many of you there!
Oxford University Press has started up the new series Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. Each volume will consist of a series of new papers in the field of experimental philosophy.
The Call for Abstracts for the first volume is now available. So if you are interested in contributing, all you need to do is send in a brief (less than 1,000 word) abstract by Dec. 15. Papers can present new experimental findings or examine the philosophical implications of existing studies. Criticisms of experimental philosophy are always welcome.
Existing research in experimental philosophy has often focused on questions about free will (see this quick bibliography), and it would be great to have some submissions from Flickerers in this new volume!
Nature just published "Taking Aim at Free Will", in which several neuroscientists claim they're showing free will is an illusion--nothing new there--but also several philosophers (including Al Mele) get to explain why they are jumping the gun--that's new. Here's a copy of the article:
I'd be very interested to hear if any Flickerers out there can think of any philosophers who think the neuroscientists are right? Obviously, some philosophers think free will is an illusion, but are there any who think neuroscientific discoveries like the ones discussed in this article (Libet, Haynes, Haggard, etc.) have demonstrated this or even provided significant evidence for it? (And don't forget, I'm not being an ostrich here. I'm a neurotic compatibilist--new name is "cagey compatibilist"--so I do consider various scientific discoveries that actually or potentially threaten free will, or the scope of our free will, but I just don't think these neuroscientific results suggest anything surprising or threatening about the way decision-making or free will works, certainly not for any naturalist view, compatibilist or libertarian, but probably not for dualist views either.)