Dissertation, Texas A&M University (1999)
|Abstract||The doctrine of agent-causation has been suggested by many interested in defending libertarian theories of free action to provide the conceptual apparatus necessary to make the notion of incompatibility freedom intelligible. In the present essay the conceptual viability of the doctrine of agent-causation will be assessed. It will be argued that agent-causation is, insofar as it is irreducible to event-causation, mysterious at best, totally unintelligible at worst. First, the arguments for agent-causation made by such eighteenth-century luminaries as Samuel Clarke and Thomas Reid will be considered alongside the defenses of agent-causation proffered in this century by C.A. Campbell, Roderick Chisholm, and Richard Taylor. It will be shown that the case for agent-causation made by these figures is ultimately unconvincing. Two defenses of agent-causation made within the past ten years will then be taken up for examination and critique. First, Timothy O'Connor's attempt at advancing an unrefined and unrepentant doctrine of agent-causation will be shown to suffer from the same maladies as its predecessors. Next, Randolph Clarke's causal agent-causal theory of free action, which seeks a via media between agent-causal theories of free action and causal theories of action, is examined. Clarke's theory is an attempt at providing an account of how both events and agents qua substances can be the codeterminants of free actions. Despite the improvement of Clarke's theory over more conventional agent-causal theories of free action, it will be shown that agent-causation makes his theory more cumbersome than it needs to be. Clarke is able to get as much mileage out of a causal indeterminacy theory of action that does not require him to posit obscure agent-causes. Finally, a sketch of an alternative theory of free action will be offered. While it may suffer from its own conceptual deficiencies, it may not suffer from the same conceptual problems as agent-causal theories of free action|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Ishtiyaque Haji (2004). Active Control, Agent-Causation and Free Action. Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):131-148.
Markus E. Schlosser (2008). Agent-Causation and Agential Control. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):3-21.
Ishtiyaque Haji (2005). Libertarianism, Luck, and Action Explanation. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:321-340.
Daniel von Wachter (2003). Agent Causation Before and After the Ontological Turn. In Edmund Runggaldier, Christian Kanzian & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Persons: An Interdisciplinary Approach. öbvhpt.
Shaun Nichols (2004). The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts. Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
Meghan Griffith (2007). Freedom and Trying: Understanding Agent-Causal Exertions. Acta Analytica 22 (1):16-28.
Rebekah Rice (2011). Agent Causation and Acting for Reasons. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):333-346.
Timothy O'Connor (1995). Agent Causation. In Timothy O'Connor (ed.), Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Randolph Clarke (1996). Agent Causation and Event Causation in the Production of Free Action. Philosophical Topics 24 (2):19-48.
William G. Lycan (2003). Free Will and the Burden of Proof. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Minds and Persons. Cambridge University Press.
Ned Markosian (2012). Agent Causation as the Solution to All the Compatibilist's Problems. Philosophical Studies 157 (3):383-398.
Eric Hiddleston, Critical Study: Timothy O'Connor, Persons and Causes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) (Forthcoming in Nous).
Xiangdong Xu (2011). Thomas Reid on Active Power and Free Agency. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (3):369-389.
Added to index2012-06-08
Total downloads35 ( #34,138 of 549,073 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #19,228 of 549,073 )
How can I increase my downloads?