Kauders, AD (2017) Negotiating Free Will: Hypnosis and Crime in Early Twentieth-Century. The Historical Journal, 60 (4). pp. 1047-1069. ISSN 0018-246X

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Abstract

The history of free will has yet to be written. With few exceptions, the literature on the subject is dominated by legal and philosophical works, most of which recount the ideas of prominent thinkers or discuss hypothetical questions far removed from specific historical contexts. The following article seeks to redress the balance by tracing the debate on hypnosis in Germany from 1894 to 1936. Examining responses to hypnosis is tantamount to recording common understandings of autonomy and heteronomy, self-control and mind control, free will and automaticity. More specifically, it is possible to identify distinct philosophical positions related to the question as to whether hypnosis could surmount free will or not. The article demonstrates that the discourse often centred on the perceived struggle, located within a particular personality', between an individual's character' or soul' and the infiltration by a foreign or hostile force. While one group (compatibilists) emphasized the resilience of the moral inhibitions', another group (determinists) doubted that these were sufficient to withstand hypnosis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 May 2017 15:31
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 10:28
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/3381

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