Do we have free will? It's a question that has puzzled philosophers and theologians for centuries and feeds into numerous political, social, and personal concerns.
Are we products of our culture or free agents within it? How much responsibility should we take for our actions? Are our neural pathways fixed early on by a mixture of nature and nurture, or is the possibility of comprehensive, intentional psychological change always open to us? What role do our brains play in the construction of free will, and how much scientific evidence is there for the existence of it? What exactly are we talking about when we talk about 'freedom' anyway?
In this cogent and compelling book, Julian Baggini explores the concept of free will from every angle, blending philosophy, neuroscience, sociology and cognitive science. Freedom Regained brings the issues raised by the possibilities - and denials - of free will to vivid life, drawing on scientific research and fascinating encounters with expert witnesses, from artists to addicts, prisoners to dissidents.
Contemporary thinking tells us that free will is an illusion, and Baggini challenges this position, providing instead a new, more positive understanding of our sense of personal freedom: a freedom worth having.
Julian Baggini's books include The Ego Trick, Welcome to Everytown, What's It All About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and The Pig That Wants to be Eaten, all published by Granta Books. He writes for several newspapers and magazines and is cofounder of The Philosophers' Magazine.
©2015 Julian Baggini (P)2015 Audible, Ltd.
"An excellent book... It [does for freedom] just what Dawkins does with God." (Terry Eagleton, Guardian)
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"Better than the pig book"
An improvement on The Pig who wanted to be eaten. In this book he tries to come to meaningful conclusions. The subject and points are mostly interesting and well presented. Some of his logic seems a bit flawed to me but it is still a good effort. Towards the end It falls into the usual philosophy trap arguing the toss over definitions and meanings of words which I find tedious. Could have done with a good editor as it is a bit repetitive at times. Essentially he is saying it depends how you define freedom. Overall comprehensive, interesting and worth listening to.
This book takes a similar line to Daniel Denett's; free will does exist but is very different from the incoherent concept widely imagined.
I found it impossible to listen to because the reader makes every sentence sound scathing, which I'm certain was not Julian Baggini's intention - he reads 'science' as if it quotation marks, I'm certain Baggini believes in science.
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