Free will and the Moral Agents Club

On May 11 the prominent philosopher of science Daniel Dennett will be at the CCCB and will invite us to join what he calls the "Moral Agents Club"

Daniel Dennett is one of the world’s most outstanding philosophers of science in the field of the cognitive sciences, in particular as a result of his work on conscience, intentionality, artificial intelligence and memetics. Also notable are his contributions concerning the present-day significance of Darwinism and religion. 

In debates of recent years about the progress being made in neuroscience, Dennett has vigorously attacked the deterministic discourse which denies the existence of human free will. In contrast with the view of the human being who is determined by unconscious decision-making, Dennett is unquestionably a great champion of people’s ability to choose and decide, and hence of the human capacity for morality.

For Daniel Dennett the only kind of freedom of any importance, freedom that is really worth wanting to have, is that which allows us to be morally competent agents, responsible for our actions, both good and bad. This type of freedom has nothing to do with scientific determinism and, in this regard, neither does neuroscience have much to say about it. Dennett invites us to join what he calls the “Club of Moral Agents”, which means taking on the commitment of living in accordance with certain norms and, if we should transgress them, accepting the penalties.

Dennett has written numerous succesful books like Breaking the Spell: Religion as a natural phenomenon (2006), Freedom Evolves (2003) and Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life (1996).

The conference will take place on May 11 at 19 am at the CCCB (Montalegre 5, Barcelona), it costs 3 € and it will be presented by Jaume Bertranpetit, Professor of Biology at the University Pompeu Fabra and director of the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA).

Further information: CCCB

 

Publication date: Monday, 04 May 2015
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