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Restorative Free Will

Back to the Biological Base

Bruce N. Waller

Restorative Free Will argues for an account of free will that takes seriously the evolutionary development of the key elements of free will. It emphasizes a biological understanding of free will that rejects the belief that free will belongs exclusively to humans and seeks to understand free will by examining it writ large in the adaptive behavior of many species. Drawing on resources from primatology, biology, psychology, and anthropology, Restorative Free Will examines the major compatibilist and libertarian accounts of free will, acknowledges their important insights while arguing that each view mistakenly treats an essential element of animal free will as if it were the full account of free will, and demonstrates how a broader biological approach to free will integrates those insights into a richer naturalistic free will account. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 328Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-2238-0 • Hardback • October 2015 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-2240-3 • Paperback • June 2017 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-1-4985-2239-7 • eBook • October 2015 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
Bruce N. Waller is professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University
Chapter 1: Human Uniqueness
Chapter 2: Uniquely Human Reason
Chapter 3: Will Power in a Just World
Chapter 4: The Burden of Moral Responsibility
Chapter 5: Free Will and Criminal Justice
Chapter 6: Psychological Free Will
Chapter 7: Restorative Free Will
Chapter 8: Enlarging Ethics
Chapter 9: Why Keep Free Will?
Once we cast aside the theologically-inspired notion that humans are discontinuous with the rest of the animal kingdom, we are better able to situate the phenomenon of free will as simply a biological adaptation. So argues Waller in a book manifesting his characteristic virtues of clarity, forcefulness, and verve. I urge anyone with even a passing interest in the free will debate to save space on their shelf for this original and provocative monograph.
Mark Bernstein, Joyce & Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics, Purdue University

Bruce Waller has long argued against moral responsibility and the pernicious nature of just deserts but in Restorative Free Will he sets out to defend a provocative and original account of free will—one which is naturalistic, non-miraculous, and liberated from the burden of moral responsibility. Questioning many contemporary assumptions about free will and moral responsibility, Waller’s book is daring, thought provoking, and a true must-read for anyone interested in the free will debate. I cannot recommend it more highly!
Gregg Caruso, Corning Community College (SUNY)