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Synopsis

Most people assume that, even though some degenerative or criminal behavior may be caused by influences beyond our control, ordinary human actions are not similarly generated, but rather are freely chosen, and we can be praiseworthy or blameworthy for them. A less popular and more radical claim is that factors beyond our control produce all of the actions we perform. It is this hard determinist stance that Derk Pereboom articulates in Living Without Free Will. Pereboom argues that our best scientific theories have the consequence that factors beyond our control produce all of the actions we perform, and that because of this, we are not morally responsible for any of them. He seeks to defend the view that morality, meaning, and value remain intact even if we are not morally responsible, and furthermore, that adopting this perspective would provide significant benefit for our lives.

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