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Free Will

Edited by Justin Capes (Flagler College)
About this topic
Summary Most philosophers and laypeople believe that under most conditions human beings, perhaps along with some other animals, possess a power of selecting and implementing actions which is special. This power is very widely held to be a necessary condition of responsibility for actions, for autonomy and for being entitled to take pride in (or to feel shame for) one's achievements. The free will debate in philosophy aims at elucidating the nature of that power as well as at identifying potential threats to it and explaining how it can exist. A major focus of the debate is the compatibility of free will with causal determinism. A minority of philosophers deny that we have free will because free will is incompatible with causal determinism.
Key works The free will debate is ancient in Western philosophy, but was first developed systematically by scholastic thinkers concerning about the relationship free will and God's foreknowledge (eg Ockham 1983). The rise of mechanistic science brought determinism to the forefront and played an important role in the development of compatibilism by philosophers like Hume (Hume 1777). The advent of Frankfurt-style cases (Frankfurt 1969) transformed the late 20th century debate, by allowing compatibilists to dispense with the principle of alternate possibilities (see McKenna & Widerker 2003 for important contributions to this debate). At the same time, important new libertarian views have been developed by thinkers like Robert Kane (Kane 1996) and Timothy O'Connor (O'Connor 2000). Very recently, there has been a revival of free will skepticism (Strawson 1994; Levy 2011).
Introductions O'Connor 2005;McKenna 2008; Clarke & Capes ms
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Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Free Will
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  1. Gustav Alexandrie (2015). Recension av Ann Heberlein, Etik: människa, moral, mening. [REVIEW] Filosofisk Tidskrift 36 (1):43-48.
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  2. Alisjahbana S. Takdir (1988). From Social Determinism Toward Responsibility of the Free Human Mind. Philosophie Et Culture: Actes du XVIIe Congrès Mondial de Philosophie 5:286-298.
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  3. Anita Allen (2010). Mental Disorders and the "System of Judgmental Responsibility". Boston University Law Review 90:621-640.
    Thesis: Those affected by mental disorders whose actions are episodically influenced by their disorder are often overlooked by philosophers of moral and ethical responsibility. Allen gives us reasons for thinking it is inappropriate to either: a) “summarily exclude people with mental problems out of the universe of moral agents, reducing them to the status of rocks, trees, animals, and infants” b) “include the group on the false assumption that their moral lives are precisely like the paradigmatic moral lives of the (...)
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  4. José Tomás Alvarado Marambio (2012). Libertad de la Voluntad y Poderes Causales. Veritas 26:107-123.
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  5. R. J. B. (1965). Laws of Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 19 (1):152-153.
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  6. Fabio Bacchini at al (ed.) (2014). New Advances in Causation, Agency and Moral Responsibility.
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  7. Bacchini, Dell'Utri & Caputo (eds.) (2014). New Advances in Causation, Agency, and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars Press.
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  8. Rebecca Bamford (2015). 'Moraline-Free’ Virtue: The Case of Free Death'. Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (3):437-451.
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  9. Henry Barker (1904). The Philosophy of Auguste ComteL. Lévy-Bruhl. International Journal of Ethics 14 (4):508-511.
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  10. Stanley Bates (1971). The Responsibility of "Random Collections". Ethics 81 (4):343-349.
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  11. André Berge (1985). L'acte Gratuit.
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  12. Bernard Berofsky (2015). XIII. Psychological Determinism. In Determinism. Princeton University Press. pp. 298-324.
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  13. David Blinder (1986). A New Look at Vision. Topoi 5 (September):137-148.
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  14. Alex Broadbent (2013). Explanation and Responsibility. In Markus Stepanians & Benedikt Kahmen (eds.), Critical Essays on "Causation and Responsibility". De Gruyter. pp. 239-252.
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  15. Andrei Buckareff, Carlos Moya & Sergi Rosell (eds.) (2015). Agency, Freedom, and Moral Responsibility.
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  16. F. B. Buckley (1956). Analysis of 'X Could Have Acted Otherwise'. Philosophical Studies 7 (5):69 - 74.
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  17. F. B. Buckley (1956). Analysis of ‘X Could Have Acted Otherwise’. Philosophical Studies 7 (5):69-74.
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  18. Reviewed Paul F. Johnson (2005). Oppression and Responsibility: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Social Practices and Moral Theory. Philosophical Investigations 28 (1):83–86.
  19. L. S. C. (1945). Fate and Freedom: A Philosophy for Free Americans. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 42 (26):722-723.
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  20. Magdalena Candioti (2016). Abolición Gradual y Libertades Vigiladas En El Río de la Plata. La Política de Control de Libertos de 1813Gradual Abolition and Supervised Freedom in the Rio de la Plata. The Freedmen Control Policy. Corpus.
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  21. Ernst Boris Chain (1971). Social Responsibility and the Scientist in Modern Western Society. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 14 (3):347-369.
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  22. David Ciocchi (1996). Free Will and the Dispositional Aspect of Faith. Dialogos 31:127-154.
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  23. Michelle Ciurria (2015). Moral Responsibility Ain’T Just in the Head. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4):601--616.
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  24. Stefano Cossara (2012). Cognitive Science, Moral Responsibility And The Self. Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7 (1).
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  25. Roger P. Croll (1984). The Noncontributing Author: An Issue of Credit and Responsibility. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 27 (3):401-407.
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  26. F. D. D. (1975). The Cosmology of Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 28 (4):762-762.
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  27. Arthur C. Danto (1959). Determinism and Freedom in the Age of Modern Science. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 56 (8):369-373.
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  28. Veena Das (2016). The Boundaries of the “We:” Cruelty, Responsibility and Forms of Life. Critical Horizons 17 (2):168-185.
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  29. Victorino De La Fuente (1967). The Normal Pattern of Man's Ethical Behaviour. New York: Pageant Press.
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  30. Daniel Deudney (1999). Firming the Foundations : Constitutionalizing and Memorializing the Free World Complex. In Josef Janning, Charles Kupchan & Dirk Rumberg (eds.), Civic Engagement in the Atlantic Community. Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers.
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  31. Eliot Deutsch (1972). Consciousness and Freedom: Three Views. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 69 (8):224-227.
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  32. David DeVorkin (2004). David Levy; Wendee Wallach‐Levy.Cosmic Discoveries: The Wonders of Astronomy. Xxiv + 232 Pp., Illus., Index. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2001. [REVIEW] Isis 95 (4):682-683.
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  33. Di Giovanni George (1995). The Morally Responsible Individual. Proceedings of the Eighth International Kant Congress 2:49-59.
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  34. Thomas Digby (1983). Corporations and Morality. Review of Metaphysics 36 (4):921-922.
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  35. Jörg Disse (2009). Teilhabe and Gottes Freiheit : Zum Freiheitsverständnis in Hans Urs von Balthasars Theodramatik. In Edith Düsing, Werner Neuer & Hans-Dieter Klein (eds.), Geist Und Heiliger Geist: Philosophische Und Theologische Modelle von Paulus Und Johannes Bis Barth Und Balthasar. Königshausen & Neumann.
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  36. Jörg Disse (1994). Kierkegaards Phänomenologie der Freiheitserfahrung. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 56 (4):782-783.
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  37. Jörg Disse (1991). Kierkegaards Phänomenologie der Freiheitserfahrung. Verlag Karl Alber.
    The book deals with the structure of our concrete experience of freedom according to the existence analysis of Kierkegaard in his pseudonymous works. Contrary to the (pre-)judgment of Modernity that freedom could only be adequately understood as full autonomy, Kierkegaard’s analysis shows that the highest form of freedom is realized not in full autonomy but in a relationship with God and therefore in a dialectic of autonomy and dependence. The starting point of the interpretation is the idea that Kierkegaard’s stages (...)
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  38. Steven M. Duncan (2012). Yeomans, Christopher. Freedom and Reflection: Hegel and the Logic of Agency. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 66 (1):174-175.
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  39. Berkley B. Eddins (1963). Empiricism, Necessity and Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 16 (3):556 - 558.
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  40. T. Stearns Eliot (1916). Theism and HumanismA. J. Balfour. International Journal of Ethics 26 (2):284-289.
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  41. Horace B. English (1951). Illusion as a Problem in Systematic Psychology. Psychological Review 58 (1):52-53.
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  42. Matthew C. Eshleman (2010). What is It Like to Be Free? In Jonathan Webber (ed.), Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism. Routledge.
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  43. Paul Fitzgerald (1984). Time, Action and Necessity. Review of Metaphysics 37 (3):621-623.
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  44. M. Forge (1998). Responsibility and the Scientist. In Martin Bridgstock (ed.), Science, Technology, and Society: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. pp. 40.
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  45. Charles Frankel (1948). Freedom and Experience. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 45 (13):356-363.
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  46. A. Myrton Frye (1931). Moral Freedom and Power. Journal of Philosophy 28 (10):253-260.
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  47. Shan Gao, The Basis of Indeterminism.
    We show that the motion of particles may be essentially discontinuous and random.
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  48. Ludovico Geymonat (1973). Dibattito Su L'autocritique de la Science Con Levy-Lebrond. Scientia 7.
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  49. John D. Glenn Jr (2012). The Very Idea of Free Will. Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1):65-71.
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  50. Tyron Goldschmidt (forthcoming). Omissions: Agency, Metaphysics and Responsibility. By Randolph Clarke. Pp. 227. New York, Oxford University Press, 2014, $53 (HBK). [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy.
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