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The Counterfactual Theory of Free Will. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, July 2010, Pages: 300
Do we have free will? This question has puzzled reflective minds for ages, but has become far more pressing in this era of deterministic cognitive science, which challenges consciousness itself. In this book, the author follows the lead of philosopher of mind David Chalmers, who distinguished “hard” and “easy” problems of consciousness, rejecting metaphysical puzzles as “hard” and embracing practical ones that involve identifying causal/functional relations between consciousness and brain/behavioral states as “easy”. Repetti argues that the “easy problem of autonomy” may be resolved by applying deterministic (causal/counterfactual) criteria to Harry Frankfurt's "hierarchical" model of free will as volitional/metavolitional accord. Informed by the Buddhist (and Lockean) intuition that reflection on volition is liberating, the resulting “metacausal” account handles several objections to determinism-compatible accounts (e.g., the Consequence, Manipulation, and Impossibility arguments), and provides an error theory for libertarian, Cartesian, and other inflated intuitions. This work should interest everyone concerned with the problems of free will, determinism, and compatibilism.
Rick Repetti received his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate School, 2005, where he specialized in metacognition and free will. He is currently Assistant Professor at Kingsborough College, CUNY. Professor Repetti has also written on philosophical pedagogy, contemplative philosophy, meditation, and Buddhism.