Allman Family Lecture

The Allman Family Lecture is a yearly lecture that connects SMU students, faculty and the greater Dallas community with highly acclaimed professionals and academic leaders prominent in interdisciplinary disciplines.

Free Will and Responsibility in the age of Neuroscience



Adina Roskies

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
5:30 p.m. Reception, 6:00 p.m. Lecture
Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Ballroom West
This Lecture is Free and Open to the Public.


Philosophers have long struggled with the problem of free will; more recently neuroscientists have claimed to be able to speak to this longstanding problem. I review some of the recent work in neuroscience that purports to bear on the problem of free will, and argue that although neuroscience can contribute to our understanding, it cannot resolve the problem of free will without recourse to philosophy.

About the SpeakerAdina Roskies is The Helman Family Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College, Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Cognitive Science Program at Dartmouth College. She is affiliated faculty with Psychological and Brain Sciences. She received a Ph.D from the University of California, San Diego in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science in 1995, a Ph.D. from MIT in philosophy in 2004, and an M.S.L. from Yale Law School in 2014. Prior to her work in philosophy she held a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroimaging at Washington University with Steven Petersen and Marcus Raichle and was Senior Editor of the neuroscience journal Neuron.

Dr. Roskies’ philosophical research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience, and include philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and ethics. She was a member of the McDonnell Project in Neurophilosophy, and the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Project. Awards include the William James Prize and the Stanton Prize, awarded by the Society of Philosophy and Psychology, a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellowship from the Princeton University Center for Human Values. She is coauthor of a book with Stephen Morse, A Primer on Criminal Law and Neuroscience.