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Summary Libertarians believe that free will is incompatible with causal determinism, and agents have free will. They therefore deny that causal determinism is true. There are three major categories of libertarians. Event-causal libertarians believe that free actions are indeterministically caused by prior events. Agent-causal libertarians believe that agents indeterministically cause free actions. Non-causal libertarians typically believe that free actions are constituted by basic mental actions, such as a decision or choice.
Key works In the contemporary debate, event-causal libertarianism has been most powerfully defended by Robert Kane; Kane 1996 is the most complete statement of his position. O'Connor 2000 is perhaps the best articulated defence of agent-causation. Ginet 1990 and McCann 1998 are influential defences of non-causal theories. Clarke 2003 is careful and penetrating overview.
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  1. added 2020-05-16
    Toward a Credible Agent-Causal Account of Free Will.Randolph Clarke - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.
  2. added 2020-05-11
    What’s So Good About Libertarian Free Will?A. A. Howsepian - 2008 - Philosophia Christi 10 (1):201-220.
    This essay has two primary theses: we ought to desire libertarian free will if we want to be as good as we can possibly be, and we can be as good as we can possibly be only if we possess libertarian free will. A libertarian free being, in virtue of being able to refrain from evil under certain epistemic conditions, has access to an order of goodness higher than his determined counterpart could possibly have. Libertarian freedom, therefore, is preferable to (...)
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  3. added 2020-03-19
    Powers, Laws and Freedom of the Will: Steven Horst: Laws, Mind, and Free Will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011, 277pp, $36.00 HB.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - Metascience 23 (3):491-495.
    Laws, Mind, and Free Will is a highly valuable book for anyone interested in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, or in the problem of free will and moral responsibility. The book has three distinct but related parts. The first presents an anti-empiricist position on the laws of nature, according to which the point of the laws is not primarily to predict kinematic outcomes, but rather to characterize dynamics. One upshot of the account is that the laws have an attenuated (...)
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  4. added 2020-02-18
    Freedom in a Physical World.Andrew M. Bailey - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):31-39.
    Making room for agency in a physical world is no easy task. Can it be done at all? In this article, I consider and reject an argument in the negative.
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  5. added 2020-02-13
    Manipulation Arguments and Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):57-73.
    In response to the increasingly popular manipulation argument against compatibilism, some have argued that libertarian accounts of free will are vulnerable to parallel manipulation arguments, and thus manipulation is not uniquely problematic for compatibilists. The main aim of this article is to give this point a more detailed development than it has previously received. Prior attempts to make this point have targeted particular libertarian accounts but cannot be generalized. By contrast, I provide an appropriately modified manipulation that targets all libertarian (...)
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  6. added 2020-01-31
    Besteht Libertarische Freiheit Darin, Beste Gründe in den Wind Zu Schlagen?Geert Keil - 2019 - In Klaus von Stosch (ed.), Streit um die Freiheit. Philosophische und theologische Perspektiven. Paderborn: Schöningh. pp. 23-39.
    1. Ein klassischer Einwand gegen die libertarische Freiheitsauffassung 2. Eine Flurbereinigung: Buridan-Situationen 3. Freiheit zur Unvernunft 4. Freiheit zur Unmoral 5. Du kannst, weil du sollst? 6. Freiheit als Zwei-Wege-Vermögen.
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  7. added 2020-01-21
    The Reality of Free Will.Claus Janew - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 11 (1):1-16.
    The uniqueness of each viewpoint, each point of effect, can be "overcome" only by changing the viewpoint to other viewpoints and returning. Such an alternation, which can also appear as constant change, makes up the unity of the world. The wholeness of an alternation, however, is a consciousness structure because of the special relationship between the circumscribing periphery and the infinitesimal center. This process structure unites determinacy and indeterminacy at every point also totally. We are dealing, therefore, with forms of (...)
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  8. added 2019-10-18
    The Oxford Handbook of Free Will: Second Edition.Robert Kane (ed.) - 2011 - Oup Usa.
  9. added 2019-09-13
    Can Agent-Causation Be Rendered Intelligible?: An Essay on the Etiology of Free Action.Andrei A. Buckareff - 1999 - Dissertation, Texas A&M University
    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 (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-09
    Consciousness and Freedom: The Inseparability of Thinking and Doing. [REVIEW]Samuel Murray - 2017 - Review of Metaphysics 71 (4).
  11. added 2019-09-02
    The Free Will Pill.Taylor Dunn - 2019 - Philosophy Now 130:14-15.
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  12. added 2019-07-29
    Agentive Phenomenology and Moral Responsibility Agnosticism.Leigh C. Vicens - 2019 - Southwest Philosophy Review 35 (1):181-190.
    Most incompatibilist theories of free will and moral responsibility require, for a person to count as morally responsible for an action, that specific events leading up to the action be undetermined. One might think, then, that incompatibilists should remain agnostic about whether anyone is ever free or morally responsible, since whether there are such undetermined events would seem to be an empirical question unsettled by scientific research. Yet, a number of incompatibilists have suggested that the phenomenological character of our experiences (...)
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  13. added 2019-07-29
    Free Will, Resiliency and Flip-Flopping.James Cain - 2019 - Southwest Philosophy Review 35 (1):91-98.
    Many philosophers accept with certainty that we are morally responsible but take it to be an open question whether determinism holds. They treat determinism as epistemically compatible with responsibility. Should one who accepts this form of epistemic compatibilism also hold that determinism is metaphysically compatible with responsibility—that it is metaphysically possible for determinism and responsibility to coexist? John Martin Fischer gives two arguments that appear to favor an affirmative answer to this question. He argues that accounts of responsibility, such as (...)
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  14. added 2019-07-29
    Explaining and Evaluating Types of Liberal Incompatibilism in Solving the Conflict Between Human Free Will and the Determined World.Zeynab Abolghasemi Dehaghani & Mohammad Saeedi Mehr - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 20 (77):5-21.
    Liberal incompatibilism considers the causal determinism governing all events of the world as a serious obstacle to human freedom.Thus, they seek a way of protecting human freedom with one of these three different approaches: 1. Non-causal account or simple indeterminism, 2. Event causal account or indeterministic causation of events. 3. Agent causation account. In this research, we study the views of the main theorists of these three ideas and criticize them. Then, according to the definition of free will, based on (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-18
    Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will.Nancey Murphy & Warren S. Brown - 2007 - Oxford University Press UK.
    If humans are purely physical, and if it is the brain that does the work formerly assigned to the mind or soul, then how can it fail to be the case that all of our thoughts and actions are determined by the laws of neurobiology? If this is the case, then free will, moral responsibility, and, indeed, reason itself would appear to be in jeopardy. Murphy and Brown present an original defence of a non-reductive version of physicalism whereby humans are (...)
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  16. added 2019-06-06
    Augustine, the Origin of Evil, and the Mystery of Free Will.Adam M. Willows - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):255-269.
    The question of why humanity first chose to sin is an extension to the problem of evil to which the free-will defence does not easily apply. In De libero arbitrio and elsewhere Augustine argues that as an instance of evil, the fall is necessarily inexplicable. In this article, I identify the problems with this response and attempt to construct an alternative based on Peter van Inwagen's free will . I will argue that the origin of evil is inexplicable not because (...)
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  17. added 2019-06-06
    Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem. By Mark Balaguer. (Cambridge, MS: MIT Press, 2010. Pp. 202. Price £24.95 Hb, £12.95 Pb.).C. G. Pulman - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248):640-642.
  18. added 2019-06-06
    Libertarianism, Luck, and Gift.Daniel Speak - 2011 - Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2):29-49.
    According to libertarianism, free will requires indeterminism. Many opponents of libertarianism have suggested that indeterminism would inject luck or chance into human action in a problematic way. Alfred Mele’s recent “contrast argument” is an especially clear effort to make this kind of objection to libertarianism precise. This paper is response to the contrast argument on behalf of libertarianism. I argue that worries about luck and chance, enshrined in the contrast argument, arise largely from confusion and lack of imagination. I address (...)
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  19. added 2019-06-06
    Modest Libertarianism, Luck, and Control: Reply to Gerald Harrison.Ishtiyaque H. Haji - 2007 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):77-89.
    Whether indeterminism undermines moral responsibility by subverting one or more of responsibility’s requirements is something that has received close attention in the recent literature on free will. In this paper, I take issue with Gerald Harrison’s attempt to deflect various considerations for the view that indeterminism threatens responsibility either by threatening the control that responsibility requires or by posing a problem of luck.
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  20. added 2019-06-06
    Libertarian Accounts of Free Will (Randolph Clarke). [REVIEW]Derk Pereboom - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):269-272.
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  21. added 2019-06-06
    Evolution and Free Will: A Defense of Darwinian Non–Naturalism.John Lemos - 2002 - Metaphilosophy 33 (4):468-482.
    In his recent book The Natural Selection of Autonomy, Bruce Waller defends a view that he calls “natural autonomy.” This view holds that human beings possess a kind of autonomy that we share with nonhuman animals, a capacity to explore alternative courses of action, but an autonomy that cannot support moral responsibility. He also argues that this natural autonomy can provide support for the ethical principle of noninterference. I argue that to support the ethical principle of noninterference Waller needs either (...)
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  22. added 2019-06-06
    The Efficacy of Reasons: A Reply to Hendrickson.Timothy O’Connor - 2002 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):135-137.
    Noel Hendrickson, in “Against an Agent-Causal Theory of Action” (this volume), carefully and intelligently probes aspects of the agent-causal account of free will I present in Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will. The central target of his criticism is my contention that agent-causal events, by their very nature, cannot be caused. Here, I respond to his argument on this point.
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  23. added 2019-06-06
    The Consequence Argument and the Mind Argument.Dana Nelkin - 2001 - Analysis 61 (2):107-115.
  24. added 2019-06-06
    The Significance of Free Will. By Robert Kane. [REVIEW]Ian T. E. Boyd - 1998 - Modern Schoolman 76 (1):85-89.
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  25. added 2019-06-06
    Freedom and Experience: Self-Determination Without Illusions.Magill Kevin - 1997 - London: author open access, originally MacMillan.
    Most of us take it for granted that we are free agents: that we can sometimes act so as to shape our own lives and those of others, that we have choices about how to do so and that we are responsible for what we do. But are we really justified in believing this? For centuries philosophers have argued about whether free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism or natural causation, and they seem no closer to agreeing about (...)
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  26. added 2019-06-06
    Searle on Free Will and Thinking.Michael Degnan - 1995 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 69:257.
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  27. added 2019-06-06
    Control, Responsibility and Free Will: A Response to Bernstein.Robert Kane - 1995 - Southwest Philosophy Review 11 (2):255-258.
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  28. added 2019-06-06
    Libertarianism and Avoid Ability: A Reply to Widerker.John Martin Fischer - 1995 - Faith and Philosophy 12 (1):119-125.
    In previous work, I have claimed that the Frankfurt-style counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities work even in a world in which the actual sequence proceeds in a manner congenial to the libertarian. In “Libertarian Freedom and the Avoidability of Decisions,” Widerker criticizes this claim. Here I cast some doubt upon the criticism. Widerker’s critique depends on the falsity of a view held by Molina about the possibility of non-deterministic grounds for “would-conditionals.” Apart from this point, there are plausible (...)
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  29. added 2019-06-06
    Calvin, Bernard and the Freedom of the Will: VINCENT BRÜMMER.Vincent Brümmer - 1994 - Religious Studies 30 (4):437-455.
    In his Institutes 2.2.5 Calvin declares that he ‘willingly accepts’ the distinction between freedom from necessity, from sin and from misery originally developed by St Bernard. It is remarkable that a determinist like Calvin seems here to accept a libertarian view of human freedom. In this paper I set out Bernard's doctrine of the three kinds of freedom and show that all its basic elements can in fact be found in Calvin's argument in chapters 2 and 3 of the Institutes (...)
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  30. added 2019-06-06
    An Essay on Human Action.Carl Ginet & Michael J. Zimmerman - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (1):114.
  31. added 2019-06-06
    Predetermination and Free Will in the Teaching of Ramana Maharsi.Arvind Sharma - 1984 - Religious Studies 20 (4):615-626.
    Ramana Maharsi is one of the lesser lights of modern Indian thought but a major figure in the context of modern Advaitic thought in Hinduism. Modern Indian thought in general is distinguished by a robust confidence in the efficacy of effort as an expression of free will, a confidence it shares with the temper of the West in general and which it may have imbibed by coming in contact with it. Modern Advaitic thought, as represented by its popular modern exponents (...)
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  32. added 2019-06-06
    The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Free Will.Antonio Moreno - 1976 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 50:14.
  33. added 2019-06-06
    Free‐Will and the Undesirability of Moral Education.David Gordon - 1975 - Educational Theory 25 (4):407-416.
  34. added 2019-06-06
    Freewill and Determinism. A Study of Rival Conceptions of Man. [REVIEW]John Kleinig - 1969 - Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 18:260-262.
    The distinctiveness of this addition to the already vast literature on the freewill controversy is shown by its subtitle. Professor Franklin believes that what is ultimately at stake in the debate is not conceptual clarification, but our fundamental values and conception of man. Paraphrasing Hare: to justify a position completely, we have to give a complete specification of the way of life of which it is a part.
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  35. added 2019-06-06
    In Defense of Free Will. By C. A. Campbell. [REVIEW]Lee C. Rice - 1968 - Modern Schoolman 46 (1):79-80.
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  36. added 2019-06-06
    Freedom and Nihilation: An Essay on "The Free Existent and the Free Eternal Purposes," Continued.Joseph J. Sikora - 1965 - Modern Schoolman 43 (1):23-38.
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  37. added 2019-06-06
    VIII.—The Problem of Free Will in the Light of Recent Developments in Philosophy.C. E. M. Joad - 1922 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 23 (1):121-140.
  38. added 2019-06-05
    “Willing the Event”: Expressive Agency in Deleuze’s Logic of Sense.Sean Bowden - 2014 - Critical Horizons 15 (3):231-248.
    A major problem threatens Deleuze’s project in The Logic of Sense. He makes an ontological distinction between events and substances, but he then collapses a crucial distinction between two kinds of events, namely, actions and mere occurrences. Indeed, whereas actions are commonly differentiated from mere occurrences with reference to their causal dependence on the intentions of their agents, Deleuze asserts a strict ontological distinction between the realm of causes and the realm of events, and holds that events of all types (...)
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  39. added 2019-06-05
    Precis of The Significance of Free WillThe Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):129.
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  40. added 2019-06-05
    Responses to Bernard Berofsky, John Martin Fischer and Galen StrawsonThe Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):157.
  41. added 2019-06-05
    The Solution to the Problem of the Freedom of the Will.John Dupré - 1996 - Philosophical Perspectives 10:385-402.
    It has notoriously been supposed that the doctrine of determinism conflicts with the belief in human freedom. Yet it is not readily apparent how indeterminism, the denial of determinism, makes human freedom any less problematic. It has sometimes been suggested that the arrival of quantum mechanics should immediately have solved the problem of free will and determinism. It was proposed, perhaps more often by scientists than by philosophers, that the brain would need only to be fitted with a device for (...)
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  42. added 2019-06-05
    Free Will and Determinism. Allan M. Munn.R. J. C. Burgener - 1964 - Philosophy of Science 31 (2):188-189.
  43. added 2019-06-05
    Free-Will and Determinism. Allan M. Munn.Arnulf Zweig - 1962 - Ethics 72 (3):220-221.
  44. added 2019-05-06
    The Argument From Moral Responsibility.John Maier - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):249-267.
    There is a familiar argument for the falsity of determinism, an argument that proceeds from the claim that agents are morally responsible. A number of authors have challenged the soundness of this argument. I pose a different challenge, one that grants its soundness. The challenge is that, given certain plausible assumptions, one cannot know the conclusion of this argument on the basis of knowing its premises. That is, one cannot know that determinism is false on the basis of this argument (...)
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  45. added 2019-04-20
    2. Determinismus.Geert Keil - 2017 - In Willensfreiheit. De Gruyter. pp. 17-58.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  46. added 2019-04-20
    3. Kompatibilismus.Geert Keil - 2017 - In Willensfreiheit. De Gruyter. pp. 59-98.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  47. added 2019-04-20
    Vorwort zur dritten Auflage.Geert Keil - 2017 - In Willensfreiheit. De Gruyter.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  48. added 2019-04-20
    Anmerkungen.Geert Keil - 2017 - In Willensfreiheit. De Gruyter. pp. 267-298.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  49. added 2019-04-20
    Literatur.Geert Keil - 2017 - In Willensfreiheit. De Gruyter. pp. 299-312.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  50. added 2019-04-20
    Sachregister.Geert Keil - 2017 - In Willensfreiheit. De Gruyter. pp. 319-322.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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