Daniel C. Dennett and Gregg D. Caruso
Debating Free Will
Debating Free Will
Just Deserts brings together two of the world's leading philosophers to debate their respective views on free will, moral responsibility, and punishment.
After reading the book, please let us know who you agree with most and why.
Vote and comment at the link below.
“Just Deserts is a delight: a sharp and interesting debate about punishment, morality, choice, and much else. It hits the sweet spot; it’s wonderfully clear and accessible - perfect for a newcomer to the free will debates - but also deep and subtle, with plenty to engage experts in the field.”
Paul Bloom, Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology, Yale University, and author of Against Empathy
“This is a very lively, engaging, and thoughtful debate between two well-informed and insightful philosophers. It is written in a very accessible style, and students and even scholars in other disciplines or sub-fields of philosophy will learn from it and find themselves drawn in. It does not just re-hash traditional debates, but pushes the frontiers outward. Highly recommended.”
John Martin Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside
“What it means to make a choice, to deserve praise or blame, to do the right thing - these are all at stake in the debate over free will. Here you will find two different viewpoints, elaborated and defended by true masters. Given the sharpness of both interlocutors, neither has anywhere to hide; a wide spectrum of important points are laid out for careful consideration.”
Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
“A philosophical debate in the grand style. Caruso and Dennett play in the philosophical equivalent of a three set tennis championship where the prize is whether free will exists or not and what this means for reward, punishment, and the criminal law. Serve, volley, amazing gets, overheads, long rallies, a few trick shots, several match points. Really smart play from two philosophers at the top of their games.”
Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke Distinguished University Professor, Duke University
“This is a spirited and enlightening debate between an influential defender of compatibilism about freedom, responsibility and determinism (Dennett) and an astute defender of a hard incompatibilist or free will skeptical position (Caruso). The book breaks new ground on many issues; and it has made clearer to me than anything else I have ever read on the subject how central is the issue of "Just Deserts" to age-old debates about free will, moral responsibility and determinism.”
Robert Kane, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Law, University of Texas at Austin
“Just Deserts made me think philosophy should never be done alone, but with a partner of equal strength and opposing views, that the best of it should be made available to the public, and that it should leave readers with an appreciation of the depth and difficulty of the questions but no easy answers. It is a stirring discussion of a difficult issue, that distils the best of what has been said for both sides. I can think of no discussion of free will and desert that gets to the heart of the issues so effectively. It reminds you just how important and difficult and vitally alive philosophical debate can be.”
Jenann T. Ismael, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and author of How Physics Makes Us Free