Great Philosophical Debates: Free Will and Determinism : The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Shaun Nichols Ph.D. Rutgers University
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy
  • 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Do you make your own choices or have circumstances beyond your control already decided your destiny? For thousands of years, this question has intrigued and perplexed philosophers, scientists, and everyone who thinks deliberately about how they choose to live and act. For if free will makes us accountable for our choices, does the opposite hold true, that determinism absolves us of responsibility?The implications of how we resolve this great question can affect everything from the small choices we make every day to our perspective on criminal justice and capital punishment. Now you can begin - or continue - your own exploration of this fundamental issue in a series of thought-provoking lectures from an award-winning scholar acclaimed as one of the most innovative thinkers now working at the intersection of philosophy and psychology.
Beginning with an explanation of the fundamental approaches to this debate, Professor Nichols prepares you for an in-depth study of the complexities of free will and determinism. You learn what great thinkers through the ages have believed about the choices we make and understand how we might deal with their implications.
Professor Nichols looks at each side of every argument, creating a balanced perspective that invites you to come to your own conclusions about whether or not we control our lives.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A superb insight into this important topic

This is an informed, authoritative and sympathetic lecturer providing a balanced and stimulating account. He has a really good tone as well. He provides the listener with numerous 'leads' should they wish to research further. Taking notes is advisable, especially for the first five or six lectures. Very highly recommended indeed.
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- DJP OKeeffe

Decent overview, but far too broad...

The lecturer was really interesting and engaging. He's very good at delivery. The content started out fantastic. It's a very good gloss of the basic positions in the debate, and offers some excellent exploration of the implications. However, after lecture 19, the discussion drifted far afield into questions of moral psychology and criminal justice that are, at best, only peripheral to the overall debate, and at worst a complete distraction. I would recommend this series, but only if you don't have time to read a more focused book on the topic.
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- Greg Gauthier

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses