Do philosophers really understand the concept of free will and have it formally defined? Dr. Maitzen in response to question 5711 was able to answer the question without asking what free will is yet for question 24592 he seemed not to know what free will is and seemed to treat is an abstract construction so is it just an abstract construction and if it is, why create the concept in the first place?

Thanks for your question and the chance to clarify. In Question 24592, the questioner talked about philosophers "redefining free will" but never defined the term himself/herself. So I cited the definition of "free will" given at I did so in order to indicate just how much neuroscientists would have to show before they could be said to have shown that we (routinely) lack free will as the dictionary defines "free will".

The definition treats free will as an ability. I'm not sure if that means treating free will as an abstract construction, but in any case if it's not a good definition then I suggest that you let them know. I myself see nothing wrong with their definition.

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