Minds and Machines

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 519–522 | Cite as

Gregg D. Caruso: Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will

Lexington Books, 2013 (paper), xiii+299, $43.99, ISBN: 978-0-7391-8440-0
  • Erika Torres
  • David Fajardo-Chica
Book Review

Free Will and Consciousness is an effort to deal with a series of complex topics such as social and cognitive psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and their relationship with consciousness and free will in a small number of pages. Caruso offers a determinist account of human action, by showing that free will is an illusion and that our subjective feeling of freedom is created by some aspects of our consciousness (p. 5). To this end, he appeals to empirical results from studies of Libet, Wegner, Bargh and others, that lead us to doubt free will. Additionally, he applies David Rosenthal’s high order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness in order to explain where our phenomenology of agentive experience comes from. This book is therefore a good example of interdisciplinary research.

In order to make sense of the thesis according to which free will is an illusion, Caruso adopts the ‘hard-enough-determinism’ standpoint. According to it, the libertarian free will does not exist and all human...


  1. O’Connor, T. (2000). Persons and causes: The metaphysics of free will. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. O’Connor, T. (2002). Libertarian perspectives on free agency and free will. In R. Kane (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of free will (pp. 337–355). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de FilosofíaUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Departamento de FilosofíaUniversidad del ValleCali, Valle del CaucaColombia

Personalised recommendations