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Folk Concept of Free Choice Conditions

Student: Regina Sergeeva

Supervisor: Sergei Levin

Faculty: Saint-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Area Studies

Educational Programme: Sociology (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2019

ABSTRACT The daily activities of people are based on different ideas about social reality, which determine our attitude towards ourselves and towards others. One of these fundamental concepts is the belief in the existence of free will. A feeling like a grudge would not exist without this faith. If you push a person by chance, he can say “it’s OK” and forget about it. However, in some cases he is offended and says, "you did it on purpose." The difference in physically identical actions is that the one who was pushed believes that the other person has the desire to harm him and the ability to translate it. This is a small example, but this idea of a person as an autonomous being endowed with consciousness, controlling all his thoughts and actions, is embedded in all spheres of human life. The question of human freedom has always interested philosophers who, by developing their theories, created separate teachings, each of which in its own way explains who the person is and whether he is free in his choice. Not long ago, neuroscientists joined the debate, arguing that their discoveries can prove that human free will is an illusion. This sparked the interest of scientists in whether people seek to abandon the concept of freedom, when science provides empirical data instead of logical reflections and their own sensations and how punishment and encouragement are associated with free will. Keywords: FREE WILL, FREE CHOICE, MORAL RESPONSIBILITY, ENCOURAGEMENT, PUNISHMENT, NEUROBIOLOGY, DETERMINISM, COMPATIBILISM

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