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 1751). 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 Widerker & McKenna 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 & Franklin 2018;McKenna 2008; Clarke & Capes ms
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  1. The Dependence Response and Explanatory Loops.Andrew Law - forthcoming - Faith and Philosophy.
    There is an old and powerful argument for the claim that divine foreknowledge is incompatible with the freedom to do otherwise. A recent response to this argument, sometimes called the “dependence response,” centers around the claim that God’s relevant past beliefs depend on the relevant agent’s current or future behavior in a certain way. This paper offers a new argument for the dependence response, one that revolves around different cases of time travel. Somewhat serendipitously, the argument also paves the way (...)
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  2. Freedom From the Free Will: On Kafka’s Laughter.Dimitris Vardoulakis - 2016 - Albany, NY, USA: SUNY.
    Vardoulakis examines the history of the free will, arguing that there is no necessary connection with the concept of freedom. To illustrate this point, Vardoulakis turns to the stories of Franz Kafka, an author obsessed with narratives that show characters in confinement. However, these situations of confinement are only produced by the comical attempts of the characters to assert their free will.
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  3. Why All Classical Theists Should Believe in Physical Premotions, but It Doesn’T Really Matter.James Dominic Rooney - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (2):139-166.
    “Physical premotion” is a concept associated with Baroque Catholic theological debates concerning grace and freedom. In this paper, I present an argument that the entities identified in this debate, physical premotions, are necessary for any classical theist’s account of divine causality. A “classical theist” is a theist who holds both that God is simple, that is, without inhering properties, and that humans and God are both free in the incompatibilist sense. In fact, not only does the acceptance of physical premotions (...)
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  4. W. Matthews Grant, Free Will and God’s Universal Causality. [REVIEW]Greg Welty - 2020 - Philosophia Christi 22 (1):159-164.
    A review of W. Matthews Grant's *Free Will and God's Universal Causality*, which argues that we can reconcile 'divine universal causality' and human 'libertarian free will' by adding an 'extrinsic model' of divine agency, resulting in a trio of doctrines which Grant calls 'dual sources' (divine universal causality, libertarian free will, extrinsic model of divine agency). On this view, both God and humans are the ultimate cause of each human choice in the universe.
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  5. Life, the Universe and Consciousness: An Introduction to the Theory of Universal Life.A. T. Bollands - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Bollands Publishing.
    We live in a world full of mysteries. How do our brains create consciousness? Which animals are conscious, and which are not? How can we have free-will in a deterministic universe? What are the fundamental Laws of Nature? What caused the Big Bang? How can we make sense of Quantum Mechanics? Why is the universe so finely-tuned for Life? And how did Life begin? Despite investigating such mysteries for decades or more, scientists and philosophers are no closer to finding clear (...)
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  6. How (Not) to Think About the Sense of 'Able' Relevant to Free Will.Simon Kittle - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This essay is an investigation into the sense of ‘able’ relevant to free will, where free will is understood as requiring the ability to do otherwise. I argue that van Inwagen’s recent functional specification of the relevant sense of ‘able’ is flawed, and that explicating the powers involved in free will shall likely require paying detailed attention to the semantics and pragmatics of ‘can’ and ‘able’. Further, I argue that van Inwagen’s promise-level ability requirement on free will is too strong. (...)
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  7. Buddhism, Free Will, and Punishment: Taking Buddhist Ethics Seriously.Gregg D. Caruso - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):474-496.
  8. Mental Freedom and Freedom of the Loving Heart: Free Will and Buddhist Meditation.Karin L. Meyers - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):519-539.
    In Buddhism, Meditation and Free Will: A Theory of Mental Freedom , Rick Repetti explains how the dynamics of Buddhist meditation can result in a kind of metacognition and metavolitional control that exceeds what is required for free will and defeats the most powerful forms of free will skepticism. This article argues that although the Buddhist path requires and enhances the kind of mental and volitional control Repetti describes, the central dynamic of the path and meditation is better understood as (...)
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  9. Robotic Ai, Crispr, and Free Will.Arthur C. Petersen - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):283-285.
  10. A Defense of Buddhism, Meditation, and Free Will: A Theory of Mental Freedom.Rick Repetti - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):540-564.
    This is my response to the criticisms of Gregg Caruso, David Cummiskey, and Karin Meyers, in their roles as members of the “Author Meets Critics” panel devoted to my book, Buddhism, Meditation, and Free Will: A Theory of Mental Freedom at the 2019 annual meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, organized by Christian Coseru. Caruso's main objection is that I am not sufficiently attentive to details of opposing arguments in Western philosophy, and Cummiskey's and Meyers’ objections, (...)
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  11. Flow My Tears, Rick Deckard Said.M. Blake Wilson - 11/30/2019 - In Robin Bunce & Trip McCrossin (eds.), Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court. pp. 103-110.
  12. Der Ort der Freiheit in der Natur.Godehard Brüntrup - 2018 - In Klaus/ Wendel von Stosch (ed.), Streit um die Freiheit. Philosophische und Theologische Perspektiven. Paderborn: pp. 125-148.
    An article on Free Will and Processphilosophy (in German).
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  13. Sceptical Deliberations.Simon‐Pierre Chevarie‐Cossette - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3):383-408.
    Suppose I am a leeway sceptic: I think that, whenever I face a choice between two courses of action, I lack true alternatives. Can my practical deliberation be rational? Call this the Deliberation Question. This paper has three aims in tackling it. Its constructive aim is to provide a unified account of practical deliberation. Its corrective aim is to amend the way that philosophers have recently framed the Deliberation Question. Finally, its disputative aim is to argue that leeway sceptics cannot (...)
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  14. Quantum Psychoid Freewill ? Excerpt By.Donato Santarcangelo - 2014 - Milano MI, Italia: By: T. Cantalupi, D. Santarcangelo, Psiche e Realtà - Tecniche Nuove.
    What we've considered so far about the epistemology of human sciences comes up again as to the concept of "destiny''and human free will: who "must" tell us if we are destined or not? Either Neuroscientists or sociologists? Either Philosophers or biochemists? Has psychology anything to say? Do we need a pool to gather them all? Many other questions come up: what determines us and how much? ls there any sense in talking about destiny? We are a complex system and our (...)
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  15. Liberté et volonté chez Bayle et Malebranche.Jean-Luc Solere - 2018 - In Le Malebranchisme à l’épreuve de ses Amis et de ses Ennemis. Paris: pp. 97-128.
    La conception malebranchiste de la liberté est originale. Malebranche ne croit pas en une liberté d’indifférence absolue, c'est-à-dire en une capacité d’opérer un choix indépendamment de toute motivation. Il ne croit pas non plus que nous puissions indifféremment choisir entre deux motivations de force inégale : au moment où on se détermine, le bien le plus grand (du moins selon l’apparence) l’emporte. La liberté réside seulement dans le fait que l’on n’est pas obligé de se déterminer : nous pouvons toujours (...)
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  16. The Neo-Molinist Square Stands Firm: A Rejoinder to Kirk MacGregor.Elijah Hess - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (2):391-406.
    In a previous issue of Philosophia Christi, Kirk MacGregor responded to an essay of mine in which I argued for a neo-Molinist account of open theism. The argument demonstrated how, given standard counterfactual semantics, one could derive an “open future square of opposition,” that is, a depiction of the logical relations that hold between future-tense statements from an open theistic standpoint. Conceding the validity of the argument, MacGregor nevertheless sought to deny its soundness by criticizing both its conclusion and the (...)
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  17. Editorial preface.R. L. Hall - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (2):135-136.
  18. The Open Theistic Multiverse.Timothy Blank - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):429-441.
    Recently, some analytic philosophers of religion have argued that if God exists, it is likely that He would create a multitude of universes. This view is called the Theistic Multiverse. More specifically, the view claims that each possible universe has an axiological status and all and only those universes above an objective axiological threshold are created by God and included in the Theistic Multiverse. I point out that in this model of divine creation there is the implicit assumption that Molinism (...)
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  19. Becoming a Christian: Combining Prior Belief, Evidence, and Will. [REVIEW]Lydia McGrew - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):599-603.
  20. Spiritual Values for Those Without Eternal Life: Martin Hägglund, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, New York: Pantheon, 2019.Kevin Schilbrack - 2019 - Sophia 58 (4):753-759.
    Martin Hägglund’s This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom offers a naturalistic, this-worldly theology with eloquence and heart. Nevertheless, from a religious studies perspective, there is a fair amount to criticize. This review essay identifies two shortcomings in this book and then develops a typology of religious teachings about eternal life in order to assess places where Hägglund’s critique succeeds.
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  21. Ключові питання глобальної проблематики розвитку людських ресурсів у соціально-економічних системах.Sergii Sardak - 2013 - In Федяєва В.Л (ed.), Міжнародна науково-практична конференція “Соціально-економічні трансформації в умовах глобалізації: світовий та вітчизняний виміри”(Херсон, 1-2 березня 2013). Херсон, Херсонская область, Украина, 73000: pp. 28-29.
    Ідентифіковано окремі аспекти глобальної проблематики розвитку людських ресурсів у соціально-економічних системах.
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  22. Життєвий цикл соціально-економічних систем.Sergii Sardak - 2016 - Маркетинг І Менеджмент Інновацій 1:157-169.
    У статті розглянуто ознаки системи, особливості соціально-економічних систем та системного підходу. Враховано вплив аксіоматики, закономірностей та законів на розвиток систем. Досліджено циклічні закономірності у різнорівневих соціально-економічних системах. Визначено проблемно-дискусійні питання та спільні системні ознаки циклічності. Ідентифіковано структуру життєвого циклу соціально-економічної системи із визначенням загальних та конкретних складових елементів повторюваних змін за позасистемними та системними показниками.
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  23. Theism and the Metaphysics of Free Will.John C. Wingard - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):189-197.
    Two recently published collections of essays—Free Will and Theism, edited by Kevin Timpe and Daniel Speak, and Free Will and Classical Theism, edited by the late Hugh McCann—represent the state of the art in current analytic philosophy and analytic theology with respect to issues at the intersection of the metaphysics of free will and Christian theism that have vexed philosophers and theologians throughout Christian history. Despite a marked imbalance of incompatibilist authors over compatibilist authors in both volumes, the essays in (...)
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  24. G.E.M. Anscombe: guida alla lettura di Intention.Elisa Grimi - 2018 - Roma RM, Italia: Carocci.
    L’opera più importante per la filosofia dell’azione dopo l’Etica di Aristotele: così Donald Davidson ha definito il libro di Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, Intention, che Elisa Grimi ci presenta oggi attraverso questa preziosa guida alla lettura, il primo testo di questo genere in lingua italiana. dalla Prefazione di Cyrille Michon. Che cosa sia un’intenzione, quale sia il ruolo che essa svolge all'interno di un’azione, se vi si possa trovare traccia della vera intenzione del soggetto guardando l’azione che compie: questi e (...)
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  25. The Moral Problem with the Free Will Defense Against the Problem of Evil.Andrew Pavelich - 2019 - Heythrop Journal 60 (5):678-688.
  26. Why Organ Conscription Should Be Off the Table: Extrapolation From Heidegger’s Being and Time.Susan B. Levin - 2019 - Sophia 58 (2):153-174.
    The question, what measures to address the shortage of transplantable organs are ethically permissible? requires careful attention because, apart from its impact on medical practice, the stance we espouse here reflects our interpretations of human freedom and mortality. To raise the number of available organs, on utilitarian grounds, bioethicists and medical professionals increasingly support mandatory procurement. This view is at odds with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, according to which ‘[o]rgan donation after death is a noble and meritorious act’ (...)
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  27. Can eternity be saved? A comment on Stump and Rogers.William Hasker - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (2):137-148.
    Eleonore Stump and Katherin Rogers have recently defended the doctrine of divine timelessness in separate essays, arguing that the doctrine is consistent with libertarian free will and that timeless divine knowledge is providentially useful. I show that their defenses do not succeed; a doctrine of eternity having these features cannot be saved.
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  28. Free Will, Responsibility, and Crime: An Introduction.Ken M. Levy - 2019 - New York, USA: Routledge.
  29. Fähigkeiten und Dispositionen (Draft).Romy Jaster - manuscript
    In diesem Aufsatz argumentiere ich für eine teleologische Fähigkeitstheorie, derzufolge Fähigkeiten Dispositionen zu zweckmäßigem Handeln sind.
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  30. La antropología del De opificio hominis de Gregorio de Nisa en la obra de Nicolás de Cusa.Francisco Bastitta-Harriet - 2015 - In Claudia D'Amico & Jorge Machetta (eds.), La cuestión del hombre en Nicolás de Cusa: fuentes, originalidad y diálogo con la modernidad. Buenos Aires: Biblos. pp. 43-55.
    Gregory of Nyssa’s treatise 'De opificio hominis' was one of the only Greek anthropological texts translated into latin during the early Middle Ages, by Dionysius Exiguus between the late 5th and early 6th centuries and by John Scotus Eriugena in the 9th century. Nicholas of Cusa certainly became acquainted with this work indirectly through the extensive citations in Eriugena’s 'Periphyseon' and through their partial reproduction in the 'Clavis physicae' of Honorius Augustodunensis. Our paper will analyse these and other possible ways (...)
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  31. Contribution à la Théorie de la Conscience, Conçue comme Activite du Cerveau.Gilberto Gomes - 1998 - Dissertation, Université Paris 7
    This thesis explores the possibility of theoretically conceiving consciousness as an activity of the brain. Objections, based on the concept of qualia, to the identification of consciousness with a brain activity are refuted. Phenomenal consciousness is identified with access-consciousness. Consciousness is conceived as a higher order processing of informational states of the brain. The state of consciousness represents an integration of prior nonconscious states. Libet’s research on the timing of conscious experience is reviewed and analyzed. His hypothesis of backward referral (...)
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  32. Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions.Ryan Patrick Hanley - 2018 - Contemporary Political Theory 17 (S1):35-38.
  33. A Probabilistic Argument for the Reality of Free Personal Agency.Ľuboš Rojka - 2017 - Studia Neoaristotelica 14 (1):39-57.
    If the influence of libertarian free will on human behaviour is real, the frequency of certain freely chosen actions will differ from the probability of their occurrences deduced from the statistical calculations and neuroscientific observations and laws. According to D. Pereboom, contemporary science does not prove the efficacy of libertarian free will. According to P. van Inwagen, there is always a random element in free decisions, and hence the effect of the free will remains unknown. Swinburne observes that it is (...)
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  34. Rousseau on Inequality and Free Will. [REVIEW]David Lay Williams - 2017 - Political Theory 45 (4):552-565.
  35. Free Will: Interpretations, Implementations and Assessments.López-Corredoira Martín - forthcoming - Nova Science Publ..
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  36. Vrijeme, slobodno od čega i za što?: Time: Free from What and What for?Milan Polić & Rajka Polić - 2009 - Filozofska Istrazivanja 29 (2):255-270.
    S razvitkom kapitalizma sve više se govori i piše o slobodnom vremenu, a njegovim komercijaliziranjem razvile su se unosne gospodarske grane: »industrija zabave«, turizam i sport. Kapital, međutim, slobodno vrijeme najprije prepoznaje kao vrijeme slobodno od rada, tj. kao besposlicu, a tek u najnovije doba – kada je naučio kako od njega profitirati – i kao vrijeme slobodno za učenje i stvaralaštvo, tj. kao dokolicu.Razlika između besposlice koja teži potrošnji i dokolice koja se ispunjava samodjelatnošću mnogima je još nejasna. A (...)
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  37. LEVY-BRUHL, LUCIEN. Morceaux Choisis. [REVIEW]Harry Alpert - 1939 - Journal of Social Philosophy and Jurisprudence 5:192.
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  38. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean–Paul Sartre: Woman, Man, and the Desire to Be God.Debra B. Bergoffen - 2002 - Constellations 9 (3):409-418.
  39. Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting. [REVIEW]Diana Woodward - 1991 - Social Philosophy Today 6:307-308.
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  40. 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.Magdalena Candioti - 2016 - Corpus 6 (1).
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  41. Recension av Ann Heberlein, Etik: människa, moral, mening. [REVIEW]Gustav Alexandrie - 2015 - Filosofisk Tidskrift 36 (1):43-48.
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  42. The Triangle Model of Responsibility.Barry R. Schlenker, Thomas W. Britt, John Pennington & Rodolfo Murphy - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (4):632-652.
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  43. Free Time as a Necessary Condition of Free Life.Jeff Noonan - 2009 - Contemporary Political Theory 8 (4):377-393.
    Human life is finite. Given that lifetime is necessarily limited, the experience of time in any given society is a central ethical problem. If all or most of human lifetime is consumed by routine tasks then human beings are dominated by the socially determined experience of time. This article first examines time as the fundamental existential framework of human life. It then goes on to explore the determination of time today by the ruling value system that underlies advanced capitalist society. (...)
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  44. Introduction: Through Contexts to Actions.Anton Leist - 2007 - In .
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  45. Claudia Portioli (ed.), Natura e libertà (Perugia: Morlacchi, 2009). [REVIEW]Lorenzo Greco - 2011 - Rivista di Filosofia 102 (2):322-23.
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  46. Social Responsibility and the Scientist in Modern Western Society.Ernst Boris Chain - 1971 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 14 (3):347-369.
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  47. A Note on the Problem of Free Will.V. Siomopoulos - 1972 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 15 (2):309-310.
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  48. Epistemic Aspects of Action Systems.Janusz Czelakowski - 2015 - In Freedom and Enforcement in Action. Springer Verlag.
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  49. Panpsychism: The Philosophy of the Sensuous Cosmos.Peter Ells - 2011 - John Hunt Publishing.
    This work makes the case for a variant of panpsychism with an idealist metaphysic. It does not deny the concrete existence of any entities discoverable from commonplace experience or by science (such as cats, rocks, molecules and quarks), but argues that all true entities (the entire furniture of the universe) are in essence nothing over and above centres of experience that can perceive one another and act on their percepts. All physical properties and laws reduce without remainder to mental dittos. (...)
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  50. Faiblesse de la Volonté Et Autonomie.Christine Tappolet - 2009 - In René Lefebvre & Alonso Tordesillas (eds.), Faiblesse de la volonté et maîtrise de soi. Presses Universitaires de Rennes. pp. 191-203.
    Autonomy seems to require self-control. It also seems that acratic action results from a lack of self-control. Such actions would thus lack autonomy. However, there are reasons to think that acratic actions can be free. Since it is plausible to think that free actions necessarily are autonomous, one would have to conclude that acratic actions are autonomous. My aim is to evaluate the main solutions to this paradox.
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