Free Will in Philosophy and IS research: where do we stand and where do we want to be?

In December 2021, David presented a paper with Frantz Rowe at the Forty-Second International Conference on Information Systems, Austin, Texas, USA, entitled “Free Will in Philosophy and IS research: where do we stand and where do we want to be?

Video: ICIS was a hybrid event this year, and Frantz and David did not travel to the USA on this occasion, but made a video of their presentation, and attended virtually to answer questions.

 

Abstract: If agency is the core capacity to act and autonomy is the capacity to act in an uncoerced manner, then free will is the condition of possibility in which agency and autonomy may occur. Greater philosophical clarity concerning free will – and determinism – can benefit a critical view of digital determinism, represented by the move toward dystopian futures. This paper presents some of the philosophical debate concerning the compatibility of free will and determinism. We survey the approaches in IS to free will and determinism and examine the impact of the philosophical approaches. We conclude that in IS, most scholars are compatibilists, believing in both free will and in determinism. We find that a critical view of digital determinism can help more positivist IS scholars better appreciate their own support for free will. We highlight the importance of an understanding of free will to the practice of ethics.

Reference: Kreps, David and Rowe, Frantz, “Free Will in Philosophy and in IS research: where do we stand and where do we want to be?” (2021). ICIS 2021 Proceedings. 5.
https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2021/adv_in_theories/adv_in_theories/5

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