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T. L. Krawec (West Midlands, UK)
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Free Will: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Free Will: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Thomas Pink
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as compelling an introduction as other Philosophy titles in this series, 2 Sept. 2009
Pink's book does act as an short and compelling introduction... the question is as to what it introduces.

After reading this book, I undoubtedly understand the Scholastic medieval approach to the theological problem of Free Will better; how Free Will could be compatible with an omniscient God who presumably knew what would happen before you freely decided it. I also understand Hobbes' natural view of free will better. It also cleared up some issues of definition, such as the distinction between 'free' and 'voluntary'.

However, I do not know more about the current thinking on the Free Will debate. Instead, Pink defends his position, based on common sense.
This book is not titled "Pink's Defence of Libertarian Free Will". While I do not mind hearing what the author has to say, I would like him to step beyond his own argument. Also, I do not need to learn so much of an argument based on common sense, as one aspect of its common-ness is that I know about it already.
This book's conclusion struck me as nothing more than "Free Will can't be disproven. Also it is commonly believed in. Our world is based on it. Therefore it is better to believe in it than it is to believe in determinism." Yet this argument works as well, if you consider the massive impact of reductionist natural sciences on our world, if you say the same thing of determinism.

I felt it worthwhile to read this book, but it is only an introduction to a small segment of the Free Will problem. Other Philosophical titles in this series, most especially Philosophy of Science by Okasha, have an enormous breadth in comparison, yet seem to manage equal depth of explanation.
Overall, I can't help but feel that this book should have been written by somebody else with less of a desire to push their own view. Perhaps a chapter on or by Pink to explain his views, which are no doubt important as going against the majority determinist consensus in Analytic Philosophy, but certainly going above and beyond his own contribution.


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