Hi all, VBW 26 with author, cognitive scientist, and Slate columnist Jesse Bering is now available on iTunes, Stitcher, and our website. We talk about evolutionary psychology, rape defenses, homophobia, and sexual perversions of all kinds. All kinds, trust me. And in two weeks, don't miss VBW 27 with our own public intellectual and blogger of the month Eddy Nahmias. We already recorded it, fun conversation, almost all free will related.
Back to you, Eddy...
Hi all, wanted to let you know that VBW episode 21 is now up on iTunes, Stitcher, and our website. Dave Pizarro and I talk about whether students should go into grad school with the tough job market, increased dependency on adjuncts, and the unstoppable world conquering dark arts of Michael Sandel. We also do a brief riff on the now famous sorority sister's email. (I say she's a civil right visionary. Dave disagrees.)
Other recent episodes that may be of interest to Flickerers: Episode 20 with special guest neuroscientist Molly Crockett on brain research and neurobunk. Episodes 15 and 19 where we burn bridges and reveal what bugs us most about our fields. A 2 parter on cross-cultural research in psychology (part 2 with Joe Henrich), and a episode on race relations with special guest Damani McDole. Check them out on our episode page . Hope you enjoy!
Now back to the great Bruce Waller.
Look, my time as guest blogger is winding down, and this time of year many of us are caught up with final exams, dissertation defenses, and all that stuff. Lots of deadlines, and little time for blogging. So I thought I'd wrap up with a series of lighter observations and invitations for discusssion.
Here is one: When we all get together over a few cold beers at various APA sessions and what not, it often comes up in conversation that there is a striking sociological fact about our field: most incompatibilists currently working in our area tend to be theists. It's not also often remarked that most compatibilists tend not to be theists, but I take this to be implied. I myself, a compatibilist, am not a theist; I'm an atheist. Now of course, there are not hard categories here. But I am curious as to why this is. Is it mere sociology? Or do the arguments for compatibilism generally tend to favor a denial of theism while the arguments for incompatibilism generally tend to favor theism?
For those attending the Pacific APA, there are loads of sessions on agency apart from the one mentioned by Joe that should be of interest to readers of this blog. Also, apart from the main program, the Experimental Philosophy Society group session (Wednesday, 6:00-9:00) includes papers on agency and there will be a Society for Philosophy of Agency group session on Thursday evening (details on the latter will be posted soon)
For now, Roman Altshuler was kind enough to compile a list of sessions in the main program that deal with agency broadly (and not just the free will debate) or include papers on agency. I have pasted the list below. (Apologies to anyone whose session was overlooked.)
The fun commences with the session on free will Joe mentioned and ends with a session on "Agency and Pathologies of the Self" featuring Al Mele, Walter Sinnot-Armstrong, Jesse Summers, and David Shoemaker.
Much of the social psychology literature has focused on the consequences of believing in free will. This line of research generally likes to show that believing in free will has all sorts of positive implications in terms of prosocial behavior (Baumeister, Masicampo, & Dewall, 2009), less cheating (Vohs & Schooler, 2008) and even better job performance (Stillman, Baumeister, Vohs, Lambert, Fincham and Brewer, 2010). But how are those perceptions formed? are those beliefs stable? are they prone to classic social psycholog biases? are they perhaps contextually bound?
This post is a cross post of a quick summary I did titled "Free Will : Interesting Findings in Social Psychology" which includes some of the recent findings regarding the antecedents of belief in free will and the factors that influence these perceptions. I believe this line of research resembles and is linked to some of what experimental philosphers have been doing on lay beliefs of moral responsibility and intent.
For those of you interested in the relationship between neuroscience, free will, responsibility, and the law, The Stanford Center for Law and Biosciences has posted an informative talk by Jack Gallant and commentary by Nita Farahany.