We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Free Will

An Opinionated Guide

Alfred R. Mele

26 January 2023

ISBN: 9780197574232

224 pages

In Stock

Price: £14.99



What did you do a moment ago? What will you do after you read this? Are you in charge of your actions and decisions, or is your life following a script? Free will is such an important topic that it can feel overwhelming. In Free Will: An Opinionated Guide leading free-will expert Alfred R. Mele answers the big questions through engaging thought experiments, and provides a lively, beginner-friendly tour of the most prominent theories, puzzles, and arguments about free will.

  • Written by an internationally recognized authority on free will who has studied the topic for decades
  • Provides a friendly entry to the lively debates and discussions that have surrounded free will for centuries
  • Explains the leading philosophical positions on free will in a way accessible to everyone
  • Puts forward a novel position on free will

About the Author(s)

Alfred R. Mele, William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University

Alfred R. Mele is the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of twelve previous books and over 200 articles and editor of seven books. He is past director of two multi-million dollar, interdisciplinary projects: the Big Questions in Free Will project (2010-13) and the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control project (2014-17).

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Getting Started
    Chapter 2. A Straight Perspective on Free Will
    Chapter 3. Alternative Possibilities, Frankfurt-Style Stories, and the Consequence Argument
    Chapter 4. A Whirlwind Tour of a Mixed Perspective on Free Will
    Chapter 5. Exploring a Mixed Conception of Free Will
    Chapter 6. Some Sources of Skepticism about Free Will
    Chapter 7. More Skeptical Arguments
    Chapter 8. Free Will and Neuroscience
    Chapter 9. Wrapping Things up


"Congratulations to Alfred Mele for another outstanding book! Free Will: An Opinionated Introduction is a superb tour through the ins and outs of the debate over whether normal folks have free will. Mele is certainly one of the world's leading philosophers working on the nature of action and the related topic of free will. In this book, he faces the questions of what free will is, the best arguments for why we do not have it, and his own forceful arguments for why, indeed, most of us do have it. This wonderful, accessible book will be interesting and fun to read for any educated person who wants a fair and clear-minded assessment of the current state of the free will debate. I also highly recommend it for use in an introductory college course, or even an advanced high school course." - Michael McKenna, University of Arizona

"This wonderful book offers a lucid and entertaining introduction to a classic philosophical debate about a key aspect of the human essence, namely free will. The author is a highly respected and distinguished philosopher himself, and one who has for years scrupulously respected both sides of the debate. Using plain language and vivid examples, the book illuminates why thinkers have come to different conclusions. The title says the book is opinionated, but the author's opinions are judicious, so the reader can appreciate the best arguments on either side, as well as the weak points in each side's arguments. While this is a terrific book for readers seeking an up-to-date introduction to the disputes, seasoned readers familiar with the field will also find much that is new, helpful, and informative." - Roy F. Baumeister, author of The Self Explained: Why and How We Become Who We Are