NEWS: MAY 03, 2016
Earlier today, Paul Russell gave an invited lecture at the Plenum meeting attended by the members of the Academy, in Stockholm - The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.
The title of his lecture was "Free Will Pessimism" and an abstract of this talk is provided below:
"In this lecture I will articulate and explain the essential features of an alternative compatibilist position, one that is responsive to sources of resistance to the compatibilist program based on considerations of fate and luck. The approach taken relies on distinguishing carefully between issues of skepticism and pessimism as they arise in this context. A compatibilism that is properly responsive to concerns about fate and luck is committed to what I describe as free will pessimism, which is to be distinguished from free will skepticism. The conclusion reached is that critical compatibilism and free will pessimism should not be understood as providing a solution to the free will problem but rather as a basis for rejecting the assumptions and aspirations that lie behind it – assumptions and aspirations that have been shared by all the major parties involved in this debate. What we have, according to the stance of free will pessimism, is not a (skeptical) problem waiting to be solved but a (troubling) human predicament that needs to be recognized and acknowledged."