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Summary Theories of free will focus on two basic questions: its possibility and its nature. The possibility question is almost always concerned principally with whether freedom is compatible with causal determinism, as well as with closely related (putative) threats like God's foreknowledge. Philosophers may be either compatibilists or incompatibilists with regard to the relation between freedom and determinism. Of course philosophers are particularly concerned with whether free will is actual. Questions of the nature of free will are usually addressed in conjunction with the compatibility question: philosophers develop accounts of free will in order to show that it is or is not compatible with causal determinism. The typology of these accounts appears under the sibling category "topics in free will".
Key works Contemporary theorists of free will divide into compatibilists, incompatibilists and impossibilists in the main. The most important contemporary compatibilist is probably John Martin Fischer (Fischer & Ravizza 1999) though real self views are increasingly influential (Arpaly 2002Scanlon 2008). Incompatibilists traditionally divide into hard determinists, who hold that free will is incompatible with determinism and determinism is true and libertarians. Libertarians, in turn, divide into agent-causal theorists (e.g. O'Connor 2000) and event-causal theorists (e.g. Kane 1996). Impossibilism has never been popular but seems to be growing slightly (see for instance Strawson 1994). Derk Pereboom's near-impossibilism is also influential (Pereboom 2005). 
Introductions O'Connor 2005;McKenna 2008; Clarke & Capes ms; Levy & McKenna 2009
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  1. The Problems of Free Will and Determinism: Metaphysics and Metaphilosophy.Kristin M. Mickelson - manuscript
  2. Agent-Causal Libertarianism, Statistical Neural Laws and Wild Coincidences.Jason D. Runyan - 2017 - Synthese 195 (10):4563-4580.
    Agent-causal libertarians maintain we are irreducible agents who, by acting, settle matters that aren’t already settled. This implies that the neural matters underlying the exercise of our agency don’t conform to deterministic laws, but it does not appear to exclude the possibility that they conform to statistical laws. However, Pereboom (Noûs 29:21–45, 1995; Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001; in: Nadelhoffer (ed) The future of punishment, Oxford University Press, New York, 2013) has argued that, if these neural (...)
  3. Human Communion and Difference in Gregory of Nyssa: From Trinitarian Theology to the Philosophy of Human Person and Free Decision.Francisco Bastitta-Harriet - 2011 - In Volker H. Drecoll & Margitta Berghaus (eds.), Gregory of Nyssa: The Minor Treatises on Trinitarian Theology and Apollinarism (Vigiliae Christianae Supplements, 106). Leiden, Netherlands: pp. 337-349.
    In the Philosophical Anthropology of Gregory of Nyssa, inspired by his Trinitarian Theology, the new concept of hypostasis as a unique self implies for the first time the irreducibility of human person to the universal. Moreover, Gregory manages to account for both a deep communion of life and nature among all men and a clear distinction between persons, in a truly harmonious dynamism of the physical and the hypostatic. This union and distinction will also inspire his original conception of proaíresis, (...)
  4. Freedom, Gratitude, and Resentment.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Res Philosophica.
    I argue that by attending to a distinction among perspectives on the root causes of our reactive attitudes, we can better understand the bases and limitations of long-standing debates about free will and moral responsibility. I characterize this distinction as “objectivism vs. subjectivism.” I bring out this distinction by, first, scrutinizing an especially sharp divergence between Peter Strawson and Peter John Olivi: for Olivi, our ordinary human attitudes make it obvious that we have free will, and our attitudes would be (...)
  5. El yo y la libertad: raíces patrísticas de la antropología renacentista y moderna.Francisco Bastitta-Harriet - 2012 - RIIM 56:35-56.
    Humanists and philosophers in the Quattrocento find inspiration for their treatises on human dignity not only in Classical Antiquity, but also in the works of the Church Fathers. The present paper examines the influence of the latter on the theories of freedom at the dawn of Modernity, especially regarding the Patristic conception of human self as person or hypostasis, whose free decision is considered inviolable, creative and irreducible to its own nature or essence.
  6. Does God ‘Follow’ Human Decision? An Interpretation of a Passage From Gregory of Nyssa’s De Vita Moysis (II 86).Francisco Bastitta-Harriet - 2013 - Studia Patristica 67 (15):101-112.
    The peculiar emphases of Gregory of Nyssa’s thought earned him all kinds of charges, in his own lifetime and onwards: among others, that he falls into Tritheism, Modalism, Synergism, Pelagianism or Semi-Pelagianism. The purpose of this paper is to interpret one of these theoretical audacities. It can be found in a passage from his late treatise De vita Moysis (II 86), where he refers to the evils suffered by the Egyptians in the book of Exodus, and he attributes their cause (...)
  7. Causation and Free Will, by Carolina Sartorio. [REVIEW]Helen Beebee - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):207-208.
  8. Da filosofia antiga à filosofia contemporânea da acção.Ricardo Santos - 2011 - In Sofia Miguens & Susana Cadilha (eds.), Acção e Ética: Conversas sobre racionalidade prática. Lisboa: Edições Colibri. pp. 143-162.
    In this chapter, the author presents and develops his views on the philosophy of action. One main theme is the problem of acrasia: how is it possible that a person sometimes acts freely and intentionally against his own better judgement? The author criticizes Donald Davidson’s solution to this problem for being unrealistic and exaggerating the rationality of the agent. He also presents his original way of reading Aristotle’s most famous text on this subject, in Ethica Nicomachea VII 3. The role (...)
  9. Causes, Laws, and Free Will.Storrs McCall - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):870-871.
  10. Irreducible Freedom in Nature.Jennifer Campbell - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (2):301-323.
    I provide a novel response to scepticism concerning freedom and moral responsibility. This involves my extension to freedom of John McDowell's liberal natural approach to ethics and epistemology. I trace the source of the sceptical problem to an overly restrictive, brute conception of nature, where reality is equated with what figures, directly or indirectly, in natural scientific explanation. I challenge the all encompassing explanatory pretensions of restrictive naturalism, advocating a re-conception of nature such that it already incorporates reasons. This allows (...)
  11. 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 (...)
  12. The Obligation Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):37-61.
    I motivate a dilemma to show that nothing can be obligatory for anyone regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true. The deterministic horn, to which prime attention is directed, exploits the thesis that obligation requires freedom to do otherwise. Since determinism precludes such freedom, it precludes obligation too. The indeterministic horn allows for freedom to do otherwise but assumes the burden of addressing whether indeterministically caused choices or actions are too much of a matter of luck to be obligatory (...)
  13. Control and Practical Moral Responsibility - A Hard Incompatibilist Solution to the Free Will Problem That Doesn`T Require a Revolution of Our Reactive Attitudes.Gamman Maria - unknown
    This thesis is an investigation into the free will debate and the problem of free will. Is free will and moral responsibility possible in a determinate universe? As old as this problem is, philosophers are still grappling with it and the debate on this issue is still very much alive. How we address this problem depends on what definition of freedom we use, and it depends on whether we relate the concept of moral responsibility to freedom or not. I argue (...)
  14. Ii Blasco Disputatio: Does Free Will Require Alternative Possibilities? Blasco Disputatio is a Yearly Workshop Designed to Promote the Discussion on Topics in Epistemology, Metaphysics, the Philosophy of Mind and the Philosophy of Language. Each Edition of This Workshop Focuses on a Particular Issue to Be Disputed by Two Invited Speakers That Will Defend Divergent, If Not Opposing, Views. A Call for Papers Will Be Made for Contributions That Will Explore Further Aspects of the Topic. The 2016 Edition of the Blasco Disputatio Will Be Mainly Focused on the Question of Whether Free Will Requires Alternative Possibilities and on the Role of Causation in a Proper Understanding of Freedom, but It is Open to Discussing Any Related Issues in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Action. The Invited Papers, Together with a Selection of the Submitted Papers, Will Appear on a Special Issue in the Journal Disputatio. [REVIEW] Admin - 2015 - Disputatio.
  15. THOMAS, GEORGE F. Spirit and its Freedom. [REVIEW]Albert Salomon - 1939 - Journal of Social Philosophy and Jurisprudence 5:82.
  16. A Semi-Coherent Interface with Nanoledges Intersecting the Free Surface of an Elastic Half-Space.Sami Dhouibi, Salem Neily, Sami Youssef & Roland Bonnet - forthcoming - Philosophical Magazine:1-17.
  17. Is Contemporary Linguistics Value-Free?L. J. Cohen - 1973 - Social Science Information 12 (3):53-64.
  18. How I (Freely) Raised My Arm. Downward, Structural, Substance Causation.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2016 - Mind and Matter 14 (2):203-228.
    I develop and defend a model of downward causation denoted as downward, structural, substance causation. This model is based on the idea that higher-level, strongly emergent substances can cause something at lower levels by imposing certain structures on lower-level goings-on. After providing a sketch of the model and of its ontological assumptions, I apply it to the analysis of how free mental causes can structure neural goings-on. I defend three theses following from such an analysis, and I test the empirical (...)
  19. Routledge Library Editions: Free Will and Determinism. Various - 2017 - Routledge.
    This set reissues a number of classic titles on free will and determinism. They approach the topic from a range of differing viewpoints, and in so doing, provide an excellent overview and in-depth analysis of this fundamental philosophical problem.
  20. Can the Social Sciences Be Value-Free?J. A. Passmore - 1949 - Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Philosophy 2:1024-1026.
  21. Slavery and Freedom in Theory and Practice.David J. Watkins - 2016 - Political Theory 44 (6):846-870.
    Slavery has long stood as a mirror image to the conception of a free person in republican theory. This essay contends that slavery deserves this central status in a theory of freedom, but a more thorough examination of slavery in theory and in practice will reveal additional insights about freedom previously unacknowledged by republicans. Slavery combines imperium and dominium in a way that both destroys freedom today and diminishes opportunities to achieve freedom tomorrow. Dominium and imperium working together are a (...)
  22. Freedom and Determinism in Indian Thought.J. P. Atreya - 1974 - Proceedings of the XVth World Congress of Philosophy 4:289-291.
  23. The Problem of Free Choice. Ancient Christian Writers, Vol. 22.Saint Augustine - 1955
  24. Coping Without Free Will.Ben Thompson - 2007 - Questions 7:4-5.
    Argues that acceptance of one’s place in the natural world involves an acceptance of free will. Free will is also necessary for the continuation of a social society in that we need to accept the doctrine in order to administer justice.
  25. The Will’s Free Choice.Thomas M. Lennon - 2016 - International Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4):411-427.
  26. Comments on “The Modal-Knowno Problem,” by Robert William Fischer and Felipe Leon.Joshua Rollins - 2016 - Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (2):81-86.
  27. The Non-Reality of Free Will.Mark Ravizza & Richard Double - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):413.
  28. A Theory of Freedom.Richard Warner & Stanley I. Benn - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):468.
  29. A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes.Michael Slote & Ted Honderich - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):648.
  30. Freedom and Belief.Stephen L. White & Galen Strawson - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (1):119.
  31. An Essay on Free Will.John Martin Fischer & Peter Van Inwagen - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):401.
  32. Free Will.Stephen L. Darwall & John Thorp - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (4):627.
  33. Essays on Freedom of Action.Irving Thalberg & Ted Honderich - 1975 - Philosophical Review 84 (2):293.
  34. Causation, Freedom, and Determinism.Philip Paul Wiener & Mortimer Taube - 1938 - Philosophical Review 47 (6):650.
  35. The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control. [REVIEW]Randolph Clarke & John Martin Fischer - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (3):450.
  36. Firmin DeBrabander, Do Guns Make Us Free?Timothy Hsiao - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (3):659-665.
  37. The Implications of Determinism.Roy Weatherford - 2017 - Routledge.
    The problem of determinism arises in all the major areas of philosophy. The first part of this book, first published in 1991, is a critical and historical exposition of the problem and the most important ideas and arguments which have arisen over the many years of debate. The second part considers the various forms of determinism and the implications that they engender.
  38. Causation, Freedom and Determinism: An Attempt to Solve the Causal Problem Through a Study of its Origins in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy.Mortimer Taube - 2017 - Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1936, divides into roughly two parts: a re-examination of historical material; and a positive theory of causation suggested by the results of this re-examination. The historical study discloses an ambiguity in the meanings of causation and determinism; it discloses also that this ambiguity is transferred to the meaning of freedom.
  39. Thinking About Free Will.Peter van Inwagen - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Peter van Inwagen, author of the classic book An Essay on Free Will, has established himself over the last forty years as a leading figure in the philosophical debate about the problem of free will. This volume presents eleven influential essays from throughout his career, as well as two new and previously unpublished essays, 'The Problem of Fr** W*ll' and 'Ability'. The essays include discussions of determinism, moral responsibility, 'Frankfurt counterexamples', the meaning of 'the ability to do otherwise', and the (...)
  40. 'Look What Free Will Has Gotten You': Isolation, Individuality, and Choice in Angel.Susanne E. Foster & James B. South - unknown
  41. Free Will, Causality and the Self.Atle Ottesen Søvik - unknown
  42. Free Agents.Galen Strawson - unknown
  43. Free Banking in Britain: Theory, Experience, and Debate, 1800–1845.Lawrence H. White - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
  44. Reply to Wiens.David Estlund - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 15 (3):353-362.
    In Human Nature and the Limits of Political Philosophy, I argued that justice might require things of people that they cannot bring themselves to do. A central step was to argue that this does not entail an inability to ‘do’ the putatively required thing. David Wiens challenges that argument of mine, and this piece is my reply.
  45. A Study in the Logic of Value. Mary Evelyn Clarke.J. S. Bixler - 1930 - International Journal of Ethics 40 (3):448-450.
  46. Freedom as Fact and Criterion.Frank H. Knight - 1929 - International Journal of Ethics 39 (2):129-147.
  47. The Present-Day Problem of Overwork.Edward Lyttleton - 1928 - International Journal of Ethics 38 (3):335-340.
  48. Determinism and Moral Experience.J. E. Turner - 1927 - International Journal of Ethics 37 (4):419-430.
  49. Biological Determinism and Human Freedom.C. Judson Herrick - 1926 - International Journal of Ethics 37 (1):36-52.
  50. The Genesis of Freedom of Will and Action.J. E. Turner - 1920 - International Journal of Ethics 30 (3):231-240.
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