David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Review of Metaphysics 62 (3):575-589 (2009)
This article identifies and criticizes fallacies found in arguments against the existence of free will. These arguments draw in a variety of issues, including: natural causation, deliberation, the relation of mind and body, agent-internal and agent-external determinism, motivation for action, and the evolutionary role of free-will. The paper contends that, in each case, the misconception at issue can be overcome by drawing appropriate distinctions, the heeding of which makes for a more viable construal of how freedom of the will—if such there is—should be taken to work. So at each stage there is some further clarification of what free will involves. There gradually emerges from the fog an increasingly clear view that what is at issue here is the capacity of intelligent beings to resolve matters of choice and decision through a process of deliberation on the basis of their beliefs and desires, a process that allows for ongoing updates and up-to-the-bitter-end revisability.
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