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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
Anaximander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
George Berkeley
Isaiah Berlin
Richard J. Bernstein
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
Lawrence Cahoone
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Nancy Cartwright
Gregg Caruso
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Austin Farrer
Herbert Feigl
Arthur Fine
John Martin Fischer
Frederic Fitch
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Bas van Fraassen
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
Heraclitus
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
Frank Jackson
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Walter Kaufmann
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Thomas Kuhn
Andrea Lavazza
Christoph Lehner
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Jules Lequyer
Leucippus
Michael Levin
Joseph Levine
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
C. Lloyd Morgan
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
Arthur O. Lovejoy
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Alasdair MacIntyre
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Nicholas Maxwell
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
Thomas Nagel
Otto Neurath
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
Parmenides
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Protagoras
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
Isabelle Stengers
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
C.F. von Weizsäcker
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

David Albert
Michael Arbib
Walter Baade
Bernard Baars
Jeffrey Bada
Leslie Ballentine
Marcello Barbieri
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Mara Beller
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Jean Bricmont
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Melvin Calvin
Donald Campbell
Sadi Carnot
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Gregory Chaitin
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Rudolf Clausius
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
Jerry Coyne
John Cramer
Francis Crick
E. P. Culverwell
Antonio Damasio
Olivier Darrigol
Charles Darwin
Richard Dawkins
Terrence Deacon
Lüder Deecke
Richard Dedekind
Louis de Broglie
Stanislas Dehaene
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Gerald Edelman
Paul Ehrenfest
Manfred Eigen
Albert Einstein
George F. R. Ellis
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
David Foster
Joseph Fourier
Philipp Frank
Steven Frautschi
Edward Fredkin
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A. O. Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Dirk ter Haar
Jacques Hadamard
Mark Hadley
Patrick Haggard
J. B. S. Haldane
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Ralph Hartley
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Donald Hebb
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Basil Hiley
Art Hobson
Jesper Hoffmeyer
Don Howard
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
E. T. Jaynes
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Martin J. Klein
William R. Klemm
Christof Koch
Simon Kochen
Hans Kornhuber
Stephen Kosslyn
Daniel Koshland
Ladislav Kovàč
Leopold Kronecker
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Joseph LeDoux
Gilbert Lewis
Benjamin Libet
David Lindley
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
Owen Maroney
Humberto Maturana
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
John McCarthy
Warren McCulloch
N. David Mermin
George Miller
Stanley Miller
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Alexander Oparin
Abraham Pais
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Henry Quastler
Adolphe Quételet
Lord Rayleigh
Jürgen Renn
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Tilman Sauer
Jürgen Schmidhuber
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Sebastian Seung
Thomas Sebeok
Claude Shannon
Charles Sherrington
David Shiang
Abner Shimony
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
Edmund Sinnott
B. F. Skinner
Lee Smolin
Ray Solomonoff
Roger Sperry
John Stachel
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
Max Tegmark
Teilhard de Chardin
Libb Thims
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Giulio Tononi
Peter Tse
Francisco Varela
Vlatko Vedral
Mikhail Volkenstein
Heinz von Foerster
Richard von Mises
John von Neumann
Jakob von Uexküll
C. H. Waddington
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
Herman Weyl
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
Günther Witzany
Stephen Wolfram
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
Konrad Zuse
Fritz Zwicky

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
Gregg Caruso

Gregg Caruso is a philosopher at SUNY Corning. He is a free will skeptic and a "hard-enough" determinist, who thinks human beings are not in control of their actions.

He writes:

We all naturally take ourselves to be free agents capable of acting in alternative ways by consciously choosing and deciding to follow different courses of action. Indeed, belief in freedom of the will lies at the core of our self-conception and underlies many of our moral, legal, and theological attitudes. When we think of free will we usually think of a kind of personal power to originate choices and decisions and thus action. We believe we have free will when "(a) it is 'up to us' what we choose from an array of alternative possibilities and (b) the origin or source of our choices and actions is in us and not in anyone or anything else over which we have no control." (Kane 2002a, 5).
He says that the threat to free will comes from the theory in classical physics that every event is the result of deterministic physical laws of nature. Of course, indeterministic quantum mechanics has now replaced classical mechanics.

Although there are different ways to state this threat, determinism, as it is commonly understood, is roughly the position that every event or action, including human action, is the inevitable result of preceding events and actions and the laws of nature.1 If determinism is true then every human action is causally necessitated by events and states of affairs that occurred or obtained prior to the agent's existence. But if every action is causally necessitated in this way it would seem no one could have ever acted otherwise...

These positions can be defined by how they answer two main questions: whether all events are determined or not — determinism versus indeterminism — and whether freedom can coexist with determinism or not — compatibilism versus incompatibilism. Libertarians, for example, are incompatibilists who defend a form of indeterminist free will. That is, libertarians maintain that free will is at odds with determinism — if determinism is true, free will is impossible — but they also maintain that at least some of our choices and actions are free in the sense that they are not causally determined. Determinists (or hard determinists), on the other hand, are incompatibilists who deny the existence of free will — they maintain that all human behavior, like the behavior of all other things, arises from antecedent conditions given which no other behavior is possible. The third position, that of compatibilism (or soft-determinism), tries to reconcile free will with causal determinism. Compatibilists maintain that the problem of free will and determinism is a pseudo-problem that can be solved (or dissolved) once we acknowledge that moral freedom (the kind of freedom required for responsibility) does not require the denial of determinism.

Caruso wrote his Ph.D. thesis under Michael Levin, who is a compatibiist. Caruso's website is GreggCaruso.com.

Caruso's latest book is a Just Deserts, a debate with Daniel Dennett.

In this new book with Dennett, Caruso says why he is a free will skeptic...

My own reasons for favoring free will skepticism do not depend upon the truth of determinism – I’m officially agnostic about the thesis of universal determinism. Instead, I maintain that the sort of free will required for desert-based moral responsibility is incom- patible with both causal determination by factors beyond the agent’s control and with the kind of indeterminacy in action required by the most plausible versions of libertarianism. That is, I maintain that we lack free will either way. I argue that since the various rival libertarian and compatibilist accounts all fail to preserve the control in action required for desert-based moral responsibility, the skeptical position remains the only reasonable position left standing. Since my view maintains that free will is incompatible with both determinism and indeterminism, I follow Derk Pereboom in labeling it hard incompatibilism so as to distinguish it from traditional hard determinism.

Against libertarian accounts of free will, I first distinguish between (a) views that maintain actions are caused solely by way of events, and some type of indeterminacy in the production of actions by appropriate events is held to be a decisive requirement for free will and moral responsibility; and (b) those views that appeal to sui generis kinds of agency or causation, where an agent, understood as a substance and not just a collection of events, has the power to cause various events (i.e. “free actions”) without being causally determined to do so. Against the former view, which is known as event- causal libertarianism, I object that on such an account, agents are left unable to settle whether a decision occurs and hence cannot have the control in action (i.e. the free will) required for moral responsibility (see Pereboom 2014).

Caruso particularly objects to the idea of free will because it is used, especially in the courts, to support a "retributive" punishment as opposed to a "consequentialist" form, which uses "punishment" only if it is designed to improve the future behaviors of the agent. To punish someone who is not morally responsible is not right. And consequential punishment is always preferable to retribution, fundamentally "revenge."

About his forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice, he writes,

I develop six distinction arguments for rejecting retributivism. They are the (1) Skeptical Argument, (2) Epistemic Argument, (3) Misalignment Argument, (4) Poor Epistemic Position Argument (PEPA), (5) Indeterminacy in Judgment Argument, and (6) Limited Effectiveness Argument.

The dual aims of the book are to argue against retributivism and to develop and defend a viable non-retributive alternative for addressing criminal behavior that is both ethically defensible and practically workable. In the first half of the book, I develop six distinct arguments for rejecting retributivism, not the least of which is that it’s unclear that agents possess the kind of free will and moral responsibility needed to justify it. I also consider a number of alternatives to retributivism, including consequentialist deterrence theories, educational theories, and communicative theories, and argue that they each have ethical problems of their own. In the second half of the book, I then develop and defend my novel non-retributive approach, which I call the public health-quarantine model. The model draws on the public health framework and prioritizes prevention and social justice. I argue that it not only offers a stark contrast to retributivism, it also provides a more humane, holistic, and effective approach to dealing with criminal behavior, one that is superior to both retributivism and other leading non-retributive alternatives.

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