A FEW years ago Dr. Davidson published a work entitled “Free Will or Determinism”, which was devoted almost entirely to an exposition and discussion of the bearing of modern science on one of the oldest and most perplexing of philosophical problems. Some readers at least felt that the effectiveness of this work suffered somewhat from the lack of a historical setting, and this lack has now been supplied in the volume under review. In a small compass the thoughts of men on the free-will problem have been traced from the early Babylonian astrologers, through Greek, Roman, Hebrew and Christian philosophy, the doctrines of Descartes,' Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Mill and Haeckel, to their present preoccupation with the implications of physics and biology. There is a “Conclusion”, rightly so called in the sense that it ends the work, but containing no attempt to sum up the evidence or to pronounce a verdict. The treatment throughput is strictly objective and non-partisan, the writing is clear and interesting, and the volume forms a necessary and very useful supplement to the earlier book.
The Free Will Controversy
By Dr. M. Davidson. Pp. ix + 118. (London: Watts and Co., Ltd., 1942.) 7s. 6d. net.
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DINGLE, H. THE FREE WILL CONTROVERSY. Nature 152, 229–230 (1943). https://doi.org/10.1038/152229b0