Free Will: In Search of a Definition

by ksiehl

There are few cocepts that are as important in people’s minds as free will.  We seem to depend on it both for our own self-esteem–valuing our achievements–as well as for our commitment to a justice system.  To say that we lack free will could have potentially devastating consequences for society.  And yet, for all its importance, it seems to be quite a mysterious concept.

Everyone knows what free will means, and yet perhaps nobody really understands what free will means. Finding a definition of free will that is both logically self-consistent and testable–at least in principle–is a task that is not as easy as it may seem.