Mainly just a placeholder post here, as I need to read the articles in this special issue of the Higher Education Chronicle. I have a copy of the new Sam Harris book on order (sigh, why doesn't anyone send me review copies of such books? grumble, grumble), and I've promised to review it for the ABC Religion and Ethics Portal when I've read it. I'll get back to the Chronicle's pieces and say something about them soon, if I can (!), but as always I agree that free will doesn't exist in the sense that Harris seems to have in mind when he claims that, well, free will doesn't exist.
But that doesn't mean that I think it's useful or accurate to say to someone, "You don't have free will" ... which to me at least connotes something false (that our deliberations and efforts are all futile, so we might as well adopt a passive, fatalistic attitude to life).
In short, I'm not at all convinced that "free will" means what Harris thinks it means; however, I'm open to an argument that the meaning of the term has become so confused (or perhaps was always so confused) that we should all drop it and use more specific terminology.
But anyway, I'll be interested in the arguments in the Chronicle piece and in the Sam Harris book. Maybe I'll be convinced by some of the arguments one way or another. Or maybe not. Meanwhile, have at the arguments for yourselves.
H/T Jerry Coyne, who has a good thread running (even if the computer science stuff on the thread is baffling to me).