"This course examines a variety of theories of free will and moral and legal responsibility. We’ll examine our society's evolving views on free will against the backdrop of current scientific findings across numerous fields. These findings put into question our traditional ideas concerning moral and legal responsibility in large part because they put into question our capacity for free will. Are people morally responsible for their actions? Ought they be held legally responsible? If the kind of free will traditionally believed necessary for morally and legally responsible action is shown to be non-existent, are there alternative ways of conceiving of morally and legally responsible action? We’ll also examine the role of moral luck in our assessments of agent-based views of autonomy and moral and legal agency. The course focuses on a set of contemporary debates, questions, and bodies of evidence which are not only central to debates within philosophy, but which also have profound effects for how we think about and treat one another in the world, what we think about punishment and praise, love and hate, and, perhaps most importantly, how we think about ourselves and our own actions and behaviors. "
This course is available for undergraduate credit. Students must possess a high school diploma and must be an adult age 18 or older to participate.
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