David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 131 (3):627-667 (2006)
Two intuitions lie at the heart of our conception of free will. One intuition locates free will in our ability to deliberate effectively and control our actions accordingly: the ‘Deliberation and Control’ (DC) condition. The other intuition is that free will requires the existence of alternative possibilities for choice: the AP condition. These intuitions seem to conflict when, for instance, we deliberate well to decide what to do, and we do not want it to be possible to act in some other way. I suggest that intuitions about the AP condition arise when we face ‘close calls,’ situations in which, after deliberating, we still do not know what we really want to do. Indeed, several incompatibilists suggest such close calls are necessary for free will. I challenge this suggestion by describing a ‘confident agent’ who, after deliberating, always feels confident about what to do (and can then control her actions accordingly). Because she maximally satisfies the DC condition, she does not face close calls, and the intuition that the AP condition is essential for free will does not seem to apply to her. I conclude that intuitions about the importance of the AP condition rest on our experiences of close calls and arise precisely to the extent that our deliberations fail to arrive at a clear decision. I then raise and respond to several objections to this thought experiment and its relevance to the free will debate
|Keywords||PERCEIVED FREEDOM RESPONSIBILITY|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Hilary Bok (1998). Freedom and Responsibility. Princeton University Press.
C. A. Campbell (1951). Is `Freewill' a Pseudo-Problem? Mind 60 (240):441-465.
Randolph Clarke (2003). Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Richard Double (1991). Determinism and the Experience of Freedom. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (March):1-8.
John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (1992). When the Will is Free. Philosophical Perspectives 6:423-51.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John Martin Fischer (2006). My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
Chandra Sekhar Sripada (2012). What Makes a Manipulated Agent Unfree? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):563-593.
Kevin Timpe, Free Will. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Andrew Eshleman (1997). Alternative Possibilities and the Free Will Defence. Religious Studies 33 (3):267-286.
Neil Levy & Michael McKenna (2009). Recent Work on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):96-133.
Derk Pereboom (2003). Source Incompatibilism and Alternative Possibilities. In Michael S. McKenna & David Widerker (eds.), Freedom, Responsibility, and Agency: Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities. Ashgate. 184--199.
Wlodek Rabinowicz & Christian List, Two Intuitions About Free Will: Alternative Possibilities and Endorsement.
Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2006). Is Incompatibilism Intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28 - 53.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads53 ( #35,272 of 1,413,361 )
Recent downloads (6 months)28 ( #7,186 of 1,413,361 )
How can I increase my downloads?