Julian Baggini on Brain and Free Will*
Do we have free will? Contemporary thinking (We are our Brains) tells us that free will is an illusion. British philosopher Baggini challenges this position, providing instead a new, more positive understanding of our sense of personal freedom. (language: English)
Time: 19:15-21.00 hrs. Admission is free. See also Facebook.
Our brain and free will
What role does our brain play in the construction of free will, and how much scientific evidence is there for its existence? What exactly are we talking about when we talk about 'freedom' anyway?
It is a question, of course, that has puzzled philosophers and theologians for centuries and feeds into numerous political, social, and personal concerns. Are we products of our culture, or free agents within it? How much responsibility should we take for our actions? Are our neural pathways fixed early on by a mixture of nature and nurture or is the possibility of comprehensive, intentional psychological change always open to us?
- Julian Baggini is a well-known writer, journalist, and philosopher. His latest book is How the World Thinks (also available in Dutch: Hoe de wereld denkt). He is co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine and has written for numerous international newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing on the subject of philosophy, he has also written books on atheism, secularism, and the nature of national identity. He will give his vision on ‘Brain and free will’.
- Hans Dooremalen is a philosopher of science and a philosopher of mind at Tilburg University. Dooremalen is one of the significant number of philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists who now either doubt or outright deny the existence of free will and/or moral responsibility. Dooremalen will give his view in response to Baggini.
Our moderator is Monica Meijsing, lecturer at the Tilburg Department of Philosophy.