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Summary This category covers the main topics that have been the focus of the free will debate and over which compatibilists and determinists have argued. Topics like determinism and God's foreknowledge have been central to the debate, insofar as they raise parallel (apparent) challenges to our capacity to exercise free will. Moral responsibility is held by many to be at stake in the free will debate and it too been at the focus of attention. Fatalism, especially logical fatalism, is no longer central but there is a rich literature from earlier centuries much of which addressed issues related to those which remain central. Debate over whether free will requires alternative possibilities has always been lively: the advent of Frankfurt-style cases has given this debate new life for the past 4 decades.
Key works For a lively and penetrating selection of recent work on foreknowledge, see Fischer 1989Sobel 1998 is a central text on a range of problems to do with fatalims and determinism. Earman 1993 contains important work on determinism.Debate over alternative possibilities was revitalized by Frankfurt 1969Widerker & McKenna 2003 collects representative papers from among the very many on this increasingly complex debate.
Introductions Zagzebski 2002;Rice 2008; Earman 2004; Fischer 2002
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  1. Rogers Albritton (2003). Freedom of Will and Freedom of Action. In Gary Watson (ed.), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. Oup Oxford. 239-251.
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  2. Robert Audi (1989). Practical Reasoning. Routledge.
    Practical Reasoning and Ethical Decision presents an account of practical reasoning as a process that can explain action, connect reasoning with intention, ...
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  3. Bernard Baertschi & Alexandre Mauron (2011). Genetic Determinism, Neuronal Determinism, and Determinism Tout Court. In Judy Illes & Barbara J. Sahakian (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. Oxford University Press. 151.
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  4. Deane-Peter Baker (2005). Divine Foreknowledge – so What? Heythrop Journal 46 (1):60–65.
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  5. H. C. Baldry (1963). Tilman Krischer: Das Problem der trilogischen Komposition und die dramaturgische Entwicklung der attischen Tragödie. (Frankfurt diss.) Pp. 125. Frankfurt: privately printed, 1960 (obtainable from Buchhandlung am Goethehaus, Am Salzhaus 3, Frankfurt a. M.). Paper, DM. 5. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 13 (01):110-.
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  6. Lawrence C. Becker (1972). Foreknowledge and Predestination. Mind 81 (321):138-141.
  7. Nuel Belnap & Michael Perloff (1992). The Way of the Agent. Studia Logica 51 (3-4):463 - 484.
    The conditional,if an agent did something, then the agent could have done otherwise, is analyzed usingstit theory, which is a logic of seeing to it that based on agents making choices in the context of branching time. The truth of the conditional is found to be a subtle matter that depends on how it is interpreted (e.g., on what otherwise refers to, and on the difference between could and might) and also on whether or not there are busy choosers that (...)
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  8. Joseph Berkovitz (2002). On Causal Inference in Determinism and Indeterminism. In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. 237--278.
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  9. Mark Bernstein (1988). Justification and Determinism - An Exchange. The Monist 71 (3):358-364.
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  10. William L. Bewley, Douglas L. Nelson & W. J. Brogden (1968). Single, Alternate, and Successive Practice in the Acquisition of Two and Three Serial Lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology 76 (3p1):376.
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  11. Rajeev Bhargava (1992). Determinism and Social Science. In Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, Indu Banga & Chhanda Gupta (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Perspectives From Natural and Social Sciences. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. 40--151.
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  12. Brand Blanshard (1958). The Case for Determinism. In Sidney Hook (ed.), Determinism and Freedom in the Age of Modern Science. Collier-Macmillan. 19--30.
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  13. R. D. Bradley (1962). Determinism or Indeterminism in Microphysics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 13 (51):193-215.
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  14. C. D. Broad (1937). The Philosophical Implications of Foreknowledge. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 16:177 - 209.
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  15. Sarah Broadie (2001). From Necessity to Fate: A Fallacy. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 5 (1):21-37.
    Though clearly fallacious, the inference from determinism to fatalism (the ``Lazy Argument'''') has appealed to such minds as Aristotle and his disciple, Alexander of Aphrodisias. It is argued here (1) that determinism does entail a rather similar position, dubbed ``futilism''''; and (2) that distinctively Aristotelian determinism entails fatalism for any event to which it applies. The concept of ``fate'''' is examined along the way.
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  16. I. A. Bunting (1969). The Refutation of Determinism. Philosophical Studies 18:288-291.
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  17. Sarah Buss & Lee Overton (eds.) (2002). On Frankfurt's Explanation of Respect for People. Mit Press.
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  18. Jeremy Byrd (2007). Moral Responsibility and Omissions. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):56–67.
    Frankfurt-type examples seem to show that agents can be morally responsible for their actions and omissions even if they could not have done otherwise. Fischer and Ravizza's influential account of moral responsibility is largely based on such examples. I examine a problem with their account of responsibility in cases where we fail to act. The solution to this problem has a surprising and far reaching implication concerning the construction of successful Frankfurt-type examples. I argue that the role of the counterfactual (...)
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  19. M. C. (1956). The Artist as Creator: An Essay of Human Freedom. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 10 (1):181-181.
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  20. Tobias Chapman (1972). On a New Escape From Logical Determinism. Mind 81 (324):597-599.
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  21. Mecca Chiesa (2003). Implications of Determinism. In Kennon A. Lattal (ed.), Behavior Theory and Philosophy. Springer. 243--258.
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  22. Paul Copan (1996). Making Sense of Your Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):651-653.
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  23. David Copp (2008). 'Ought' Implies 'Can' and the Derivation of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. Analysis 68 (297):67–75.
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  24. William Lane Craig (1987). Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb's Paradox. Philosophia 17 (3):331-350.
    Newcomb's Paradox thus serves as an illustrative vindication of the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. A proper understanding of the counterfactual conditionals involved enables us to see that the pastness of God's knowledge serves neither to make God's beliefs counterfactually closed nor to rob us of genuine freedom. It is evident that our decisions determine God's past beliefs about those decisions and do so without invoking an objectionable backward causation. It is also clear that in the context of (...)
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  25. Roger Crisp (1991). Determinism, Blameworthiness and Deprivation. Philosophical Books 32 (3):176-178.
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  26. Thomas M. Crisp & Ted A. Warfield (2000). The Irrelevance of Indeterministic Counterexamples to Principle Beta. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):173-185.
    Incompatibilism about freedom and causal determinism is commonly supported by appeal to versions of the well known Consequence argument. Critics of theConsequence argument have presented counterexamples to the Consequence argument’s central inference principle. The thesis of this article is that proponents of the Consequence argument can easily bypass even the best of these counterexamples.
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  27. David A. Denby (2008). Generating Possibilities. Philosophical Studies 141 (2):191 - 207.
    Our knowledge of the most basic alternative possibilities can be thought of as generated recursively from what we know about the actual world. But what are the generating principles? According to one view, they are recombinational: roughly, alternative possibilities are generated by “patching together” parts of distinct worlds or “blotting out” parts of worlds to yield new worlds. I argue that this view is inadequate. It is difficult to state in a way that is true and non-trivial, and anyway fails (...)
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  28. D. Dieks (1980). On the Empirical Content of Determinism. Philosophy of Science 47 (1):124-130.
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  29. Jasper Doomen (2012). Determinism Determined. Appraisal 9 (2).
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  30. Phil Dowe (2002). What is Determinism?'. In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. 309--20.
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  31. J. Drever (1928). SPEARMAN, C. - The Abilities of Man. [REVIEW] Mind 37:215.
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  32. Fanny Epstein (1967). Beyond Determinism and Irrationalism. Philosophy Today 11 (1):38.
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  33. J. M. Fischer (2008). The Direct Argument: You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello. In Nick Trakakis & Daniel Cohen (eds.), Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars. 209--223.
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  34. John Martin Fischer (2002). Frankfurt-Type Examples and Semi-Compatibilism. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
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  35. John Martin Fischer (ed.) (1989). God, Freedom, and Foreknowledge. Stanford, Ca: Stanford University Press.
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  36. John Martin Fischer (1984). Power Over the Past. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65 (4):335.
    I distinguish two versions of the "basic" argument for the incompatibility of god's foreknowledge and human freedom to do otherwise. I discuss various examples which purport to show that the first version is unsound. These examples seem to be cases in which an agent can do something, And if he were to do that thing, The past would have been different from what it actually was. I argue that these examples apply only to the first, And not to the second (...)
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  37. John Martin Fischer (1983). ``Freedom and Foreknowledge&Quot. Philosophical Review 92:67-79.
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  38. Antony Flew (1989). ‘Morality and Determinism’: Two Comments: Discussion. Philosophy 64 (247):98-103.
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  39. Alfred Freddoso (1982). ``Accidental Necessity and Power Over the Past&Quot. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 63 (1):54-68.
    The thesis of this paper is that an agent S has the power to bring it about that a proposition p is or will be true at a moment t only if S has at the same time the power to bring it about that it has always been the case that p would be true at t. The author first constructs a prima facie compelling argument for logical determinism and then argues that whoever accepts an Ockhamistic response to that (...)
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  40. James Andrew Fulton (1973). Motive and Intention. International Philosophical Quarterly 13 (4):575-581.
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  41. Peter Geach (2000). Intention, Freedom and Predictability. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 46:73-.
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  42. Carl Ginet (1980). The Conditional Analysis of Freedom. In P. Van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause: Essays Presented to Richard Taylor. Reidel. 171-186.
  43. P. S. Greenspan (1999). Impulse and Self-Reflection: Frankfurtian Responsibility Versus Free Will. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 3 (4):325-341.
    Harry Frankfurt''s early work makes an important distinction between moral responsibility and free will. Frankfurt begins by focusing on the notion of responsibility, as supplying counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities; he then turns to an apparently independent account of free will, in terms of his well-known hierarchy of desires. But the two notions seem to reestablish contact in Frankfurt''s later discussion of issues and cases. The present article sets up a putative Frankfurtian account of moral responsibility that involves (...)
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  44. Julia H. Gulliver (1894). The Ethical Implications of Determinism. Philosophical Review 3 (1):62-67.
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  45. Chhanda Gupta (1992). Against a Metaphysical Perspective on Determinism. In Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, Indu Banga & Chhanda Gupta (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Perspectives From Natural and Social Sciences. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. 40--127.
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  46. Ish Haji (2010). On the Direct Argument for the Incompatibility of Determinism and Moral Responsibility. Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):111-130.
    The Direct Argument for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility allegedly circumvents any appeal to the principle of alternate possibilities—persons are morally responsible for having done something only if they could have avoided doing it—to secure this species of incompatibilism. In this paper, having outlined Peter van Inwagen's elegant version of the Direct Argument, I critically discuss Michael McKenna's recent responses to the argument. I then cast doubt on the argument by constructing counterexamples to a rule of inference that (...)
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  47. Ishtiyaque Haji (2008). Reflections on the Incompatibilist's Direct Argument. Erkenntnis 68 (1):1 - 19.
    The Direct Argument for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility is so christened because this argument allegedly circumvents any appeal to the principle of alternate possibilities – a person is morally responsible for doing something only if he could have avoided doing it – to secure incompatibilism. In this paper, I first summarize Peter van Inwagen’s version of the Direct Argument. I then comment on David Widerker’s recent responses to the argument. Finally, I cast doubt on the argument by (...)
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  48. Ishtiyaque Haji (2003). Flickers of Freedom, Obligation, and Responsibility. American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (4):287 - 302.
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  49. Norwood Russell Hanson (1963). Mere Predictability. In Henry Ely Kyburg & Ernest Nagel (eds.), Induction: Some Current Issues. Middletown, Conn.,Wesleyan University Press.
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  50. Gerald K. Harrison (2009). Frankfurt-Style Cases and the Significance of the First Impression. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):213-223.
    The claim that moral responsibility requires relevant alternative possibilities is encapsulated by the following principle: PAP: A person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In 1969 Harry Frankfurt devised what purported to be a counterexample to PAP: Suppose someone, Black, let us say, wants Jones to perform a certain action. Black is prepared to go to considerable lengths to get his way, but he prefers to avoid showing his hand unnecessarily. So (...)
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