PHEB503 Свобода на волята


The course begins with clarification of the concept of freedom. A clear differentiation between freedom of action and freedom of will is made. The specific framework of the problem of free will in the Ancient philosophy of nature (Aristotle) is delineated. Then the changes in the context in Christian philosophy (Augustine and Aquinas) are traced. The problem of free will emerges in a new light in the early modern philosophy (Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Hume) with regard of the emergence of modern science (Galilei, Newton). The course concludes with consideration of the debate on freedom of will in contemporary philosophy. The impact of neuroscience and psychology (Benjamin Libet) on the philosophical debate on free will is emphasized.

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Философия (на английски език)


проф. Христо Тодоров  д-р

Описание на курса:


Successful graduates of the course students:

1) know:

• The conceptual contexts of the problem of free will in History of philosophy.

• Major positions on freedom of will in philosophy.

• The debate on freedom of will in recent years, provoked by neuroscience and psychology.

2) can:

• Understand, use correctly and analyze the concepts of freedom, action, will, determinism etc.

• Related the problem of freedom of will to other major questions and science.

Предварителни изисквания:
Students have knowledge and /or skills: basic knowledge in philosophy.

Форми на провеждане:

Учебни форми:

Език, на който се води курса:

Теми, които се разглеждат в курса:

  1. Freedom of action and freedom of will. Negative and positive liberty.
  2. Gerald C. MacCallum: “Negative and Positive Freedom”.
  3. The discovery of the problem of freedom of will in Ancient philosophy – Aristotle’s physics.
  4. Freedom of will in Christian philosophy.
  5. Augustine: “On the Free Choice of the Will”.
  6. Freedom of will in Early modern Philosophy – Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz and Hume.
  7. Gottfried Leibniz: “Theodicy”.
  8. Written Assignment
  9. Physicalism. Theories on determinism in contemporary philosophy and science.
  10. Peter Strawson: “Freedom and Resentment”.
  11. Events, decisions and actions.
  12. Theories of personality and personal identity.
  13. Harry G. Frankfurt: “Freedom of Will and the Concept of Person”
  14. Freedom of will in neuroscience and psychology.
  15. Benjamin Libet: “Do We Have Free Will?”

Литература по темите:

Aquinas, Thomas: Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (2 vol.). New York: Random House 1945.

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics, translated by Terence Irwin. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1985.

Augustine: On the Free Choice of the Will, tr. Thomas Williams. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing 1993.

Berlin, I.: ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’, in I. Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty, London: Oxford University Press. 2002.

Bourke, Vernon: Will in Western Thought. New York: Sheed and Ward 1964.

Chisholm, Roderick: Person and Object. LaSalle: Open Court 1976.

Dennett, Daniel: Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Having. Cambridge. MA: MIT Press 1984.

Descartes, René: Meditations on First Philosophy [1641] and Passions of the Soul [1649], in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. I-III, translated by Cottingham, J., Stoothoff, R., & Murdoch, D.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1984.

Dilman, Ilham: Free Will: An Historical and Philosophical Introduction. London: Routledge 1999.

Double, Richard: The Non-Reality of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press 1991.

Frankfurt, Harry: The Importance of What We Care About. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1988.

Ginet, Carl: On Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1990

Hobbes, Thomas and Bramhall, John [1655–1658]: Hobbes and Bramhall on Liberty and Necessity, ed. V. Chappell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1999.

Honderich, Ted: A Theory of Determinism. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1988.

Hume, David: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing 1977.

Kane, Robert: A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press 2005.

Kant, Immanuel: Critique of Practical Reason, tr. by Lewis White Beck. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc 1993.

Leibniz, Gottfried: Theodicy. LaSalle, IL: Open Court 1985.

Libet, Benjamin: “Do We Have Free Will?” in Kane, ed., (2002), 551–564.

MacCallum, G. C. Jr.: ‘Negative and Positive Freedom’, Philosophical Review, 76: 312–34, 1967.

McKenna, Michael: Free Will and Luck. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2006.

Nozick, Robert: Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press 2000.

Pereboom, Derek: Living Without Free Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001.

Pettit, Philip: A Theory of Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2001.

Strawson, Galen: Freedom and Belief. Oxford: Clarendon Press 1986.

Strawson, Peter: “Freedom and Resentment,” in Watson (1982), ed., 59–80.

Van Inwagen, Peter: An Essay on Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1983.

Watson, Gary (ed.): Free Will. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003.

Wegner, Daniel: The Illusion of Conscious Will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2002.