Free Will Topic of Dec. 12 Talk

December 11, 2019 | Events, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Staff

The UToledo Humanities Café Series will present a discussion on “Moral and Social Responsibility Without Free Will?” Thursday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Curious Cat Café, 3059 W. Bancroft St.

Dr. Christopher Martin, visiting associate professor of philosophy and religious studies, and director of the UToledo Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities, will speak.


“One of the central assumptions behind our moral and social attitudes of responsibility is that our actions are in some important respect up to us; that though we chose to do X, we could alternatively have chosen to do Y,” he said. “What if we are mistaken about this? How should we think about moral and social responsibility if our actions are the product of forces outside our control?”

Martin will present a couple arguments supporting the claim there is no free will.

“We will then explore different rationales for why we might imprison someone who could not but have robbed a bank, and whether the altruist deserves praise for an action even if we accept that she or he could not have done otherwise,” he said. “Can our commitment to moral and social responsibility survive without the freedom to choose our actions?”

Refreshments will be provided at the free, public discussion.

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