Feb 3, 2017 • Philosophy Colloquium: Jenann Ismael


Fri, 02/03/2017 - 15:00 to 17:00


The Spring 2016 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents our own Jenann Ismael. The title of Jenann's talk is "Human Action Through The Lenses Of Physics." (Abstract below.)

Friday, Feb 3, 3-5pm, Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224.


This is a big picture talk that lays out the themes of my recent book, sort of in a nutshell and without fanfar. The book focuses less on trying to say something deep and original about free will, than on adding a layer of physics that lends supports to what many people who think abou these things from a moral psychological perspective already think about where the really interesting issues about human freedom reside. This is worth doing for two reasons: (i) because in some people's minds, the physics has been taken to provide a kind of master argument against the possibility of free will, and (ii) because physics doesn't have anything approaching an articulated understanding of how to view human action from a physical perspective. And if one digs deep at the places that one doesn't understand, that is where one is most likely to find new insights.

The talk will be centered around the question of how human action (and more specifically decision) fits into the kind of deterministic dynamical order that classical physics presents. It takes its departure (as you might expect) from the Consequence Argument. Please come. I'll try to keep the talk short and hope for an extended discussion.

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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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