Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

We believe in freedom of the will so that we can learn

Clark Glymour a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32507


The central theoretical issue of Wegner's book is: Why do we have the illusion of conscious will? I suggest that learning requires belief in the autonomy of action.

You should believe in freedom of the will because if you have it you're right, and if you don't have it you couldn't have done otherwise anyway.

—Sam Buss (Lecture at University of California, San Diego, 2000)