Folk intuitions on free will

Shaun Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This paper relies on experimental methods to explore the psychological underpinnings of folk intuitions about free will and responsibility. In different conditions, people give conflicting responses about agency and responsibility. In some contexts, people treat agency as indeterminist; in other contexts, they treat agency as determinist. Furthermore, in some contexts people treat responsibility as incompatible with determinism, and in other contexts people treat responsibility as compatible with determinism. The paper considers possible accounts of the psychological mechanisms that underlie these conflicting responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-86
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Cognition and Culture
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Conceptual analysis
  • Experimental philosophy
  • Folk intuitions
  • Free will
  • Responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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