Helen Steward: Metaphysics of Free Will, Libertarianism, & Determinisms' Incompatibility with Agency

WATCH: https://youtu.be/z431zDCh4TE

Helen Steward is Professor of Philosophy of Mind and Action at the University of Leeds. Her interests include the metaphysics and ontology of mind and agency; the free will problem; the relation between humans and animals; and the philosophy of causation and explanation. She joined the University of Leeds in 2007, having previously been a Tutorial Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford for 14 years. She obtained a D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1992, a B.Phil. in 1988 and a BA in philosophy, politics and economics in 1986. In February 2015 she was awarded a Research Leadership Fellowship by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Helen argues that determinism is incompatible with agency itself - not only the special human variety of agency, but also powers which can be accorded to animal agents. She offers a distinctive, non-dualistic version of libertarianism, rooted in a conception of what biological forms of organisation might make possible in the way of freedom.

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(0:00) - Introduction
(1:22) - Choices, actions & agency
(6:30) - Evolutionary advantage of biological agency
(9:33) - Problem with Determinism
(14:48) - Compatibilism (Daniel Dennett)
(18:05) - Hard Incompatibilism & Luck (Derk Pereboom, Gregg Caruso)
(22:44) - Secular libertarianism vs non-secular (Robert Kane)
(28:19) - Consciousness (Thomas Nagel, Daniel Dennett)
(37:16) - Role of language in free will
(39:38) - Libertarianism arguments & counter-arguments
(49:40) - Implications of neuroscience (Uri Maoz, Benjamin Libet etc.)
(52:03) - Helen's philosopher/scientist recommendations
(55:55) - Conclusion