The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 401–405 | Cite as

Sean A. Spence, The Actor’s Brain: Exploring the Cognitive Neuroscience of Free Will

Oxford University Press, 2009, 395 pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-852666-7, US $79.95 (Hb)
  • James Rocha
Book Review

Certain debates invite a confluence of philosophy and science. It would, for example, behoove philosophers debating the relationship between free will and determinism to follow developments within neuroscience, and related fields, that weigh in on how agents make choices. Determinism is the view that for any given choice, were we to have complete knowledge of everything that led up to that choice, and of all the applicable laws of science, we could accurately predict what the choice will be. Thus, those of us invested in this debate will be interested in discoveries in those applicable laws, such as when scientists claim to have discovered biological precursors to choice making. We may further wonder what conclusions those scientists have drawn about free will or moral responsibility. Do the scientists working on relevant projects think their evidence supports either incompatibilism, the view that free will and determinism are incompatible, or compatibilism, that they are compatible?...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy & Religious StudiesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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