January 22, 2015 – 7 PM, GVSU DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium

401 Fulton St. West, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

American Conversations speaker Alfred Mele (right) with Hauenstein Center director, Gleaves Whitney.

The Event

Does free will exist? The question has fueled debate among philosophers, psychologists, and theologians. A popular argument among neuroscientists and social psychologists is that free will is illusory—that our words and actions arise not from rational choice, but from unconscious predispositions and social conditioning. But according to philosopher Alfred Mele, the case against free will actually leaves much room for doubt. In Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will, Mele examined the major experiments that free will deniers cite, and explained how they don’t provide the solid evidence for which they have been touted. Mele argued, instead, that conscious decisions play an important role in our lives, and knowledge about situational influences can allow people to respond to those influences rationally rather than with blind obedience. Mele’s clear-eyed exploration of the meaning and ramifications of free will, particularly on our moral and political decision-making, made this an essential American Conversation.

This Hauenstein Center event was supported by the GVSU Department of Philosophy.

To learn more about Dr. Mele’s work and its implications for philosophy, neuroscience, politics, and ethics, please follow these links:

An interview about Dr. Mele’s recent $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation

BigThink video interview with Dr. Mele 

Dr. Mele’s profile at Florida State University, with bibliography

Gallery

Invitation

January 22, 2015 – 7 PM, GVSU DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium

401 Fulton St. West, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Professor Alfred Mele

Does free will exist? The question has fueled debate among philosophers, psychologists, and theologians. A popular argument among neuroscientists and social psychologists is that free will is illusory—that our words and actions arise not from rational choice, but from unconscious predispositions and social conditioning. But according to philosopher Alfred Mele, the case against free will actually leaves much room for doubt. In Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will, Mele examines the major experiments that free will deniers cite, and explains how they don’t provide the solid evidence for which they have been touted. Mele argues, instead, that conscious decisions play an important role in our lives, and knowledge about situational influences can allow people to respond to those influences rationally rather than with blind obedience. Mele’s clear-eyed exploration of the meaning and ramifications of free will, particularly on our moral and political decision-making, makes this an essential American Conversation.

This Hauenstein Center event is supported by the GVSU Department of Philosophy.

To learn more about Dr. Mele’s work and its implications for philosophy, neuroscience, politics, and ethics, please follow these links:

An interview about Dr. Mele’s recent $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation: http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-4million-dollar-philosopher/

BigThink video interview with Dr. Mele: http://bigthink.com/videos/big-think-interview-with-alfred-mele

Dr. Mele’s profile at Florida State University, with bibliography: http://myweb.fsu.edu/amele/almele.html

To RSVP, click here:
Eventbrite - American Conversations - Alfred Mele

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