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Summary This category is used for topics that have not been a focus of major attention in the free will debate and which therefore do not have categories of their own devoted to them. 
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  1. Gradations of Volition: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens CSsR.Robert Allen - manuscript
    I demonstrate here that St. Anselm”s understanding of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle”s four causes are first aligned with Anselm”s four senses of “will”. The volitional hierarchy Anselm”s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudaimonism. The summum bonum turns out to be the apex of that series of actualizations or perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his analog of Aristotle’s essence-accident distinction.
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  2. Love and Free Will.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Many think that love would be a casualty of free will skepticism. I disagree. I argue that love would be largely unaffected if we came to deny free will, not simply because we cannot shake the attitude, but because love is not chosen, nor do we want it to be. Here, I am not alone; others have reached similar conclusions. But a few important distinctions have been overlooked. Even if hard incompatibilism is true, not all love is equal. Although we (...)
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  3. Hegel’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem: a Conceptual Oversight and Its Implications for Legal Theory.Robert Donoghue - forthcoming - Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences.
    Robert Donoghue ABSTRACT: G.W.F Hegel offers a thorough, complex, and unique theory of free will in the Philosophy of Right. In what follows, I argue that Hegel’s conceptualization of free will makes the mistake of collapsing the possibility of organic freedom into the potential for moral freedom ….
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  4. The naturalistic case for free will.Christian List - forthcoming - In Stavros Ioannidis, Gal Vishne, Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker (eds.), Levels of Reality in Science and Philosophy. Cham: Springer.
    The aim of this expository paper is to give an informal overview of a plausible naturalistic case for free will. I will describe what I take to be the main naturalistically motivated challenges for free will and respond to them by presenting an indispensability argument for free will. The argument supports the reality of free will as an emergent higher-level phenomenon. I will also explain why the resulting picture of free will does not conflict with the possibility that the fundamental (...)
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  5. Do people understand determinism? The tracking problem for measuring free will beliefs.Samuel Murray, Elise Dykhuis & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy.
    Experimental work on free will typically relies on deterministic stimuli to elicit judgments of free will. We call this the Vignette-Judgment model. We outline a problem with research based on this model. It seems that people either fail to respond to the deterministic aspects of vignettes when making judgments or that their understanding of determinism differs from researcher expectations. We provide some empirical evidence for this claim. In the end, we argue that people seem to lack facility with the concept (...)
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  6. Piercing the smoke screen: Dualism, free will, and Christianity.Samuel Murray, Elise Dykhuis & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Journal of Cognition and Culture.
    Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: (1) a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, (2) that people (...)
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  7. The Reason View and "the Morality System".Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Michael Frauchiger & Markus Stepanians (eds.), Themes from Wolf.
    This paper examines Susan Wolf's accout of "the Reason View" of moral responsibility as articulated and defended in 'Freedom Within Reason' (OUP 1990). The discussion turns on two questions about the Reason View: -/- (1) Does the Reason View aim to satisfy what Bernard Williams describes as “morality” and its (“peculiar”) conception of responsibility and blame? -/- (2) If it does, how successful is the Reason View judged in these terms? -/- It is argued that if the Reason View aims (...)
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  8. Dependence, Transcendence, and Creaturely Freedom: On the Incompatibility of Three Theistic Doctrines.Aaron Segal - forthcoming - Mind.
    In this paper I argue for the incompatibility of three claims, each of them quite attractive to a theist. First, the doctrine of deep dependence: the universe depends for its existence, in a non-causal way, on God. Second, the doctrine of true transcendence: the universe is wholly distinct from God; God is separate and apart from the universe in respect of mereology, modes, and mentality. Third, the doctrine of robust creaturely freedom: some creature performs some act such that he could (...)
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  9. Heavenly "Freedom" in Fourteenth-Century Voluntarism.Eric W. Hagedorn - 2024 - In Sonja Schierbaum & Jörn Müller (eds.), Varieties of Voluntarism in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 199-216.
    According to standard late medieval Christian thought, humans in heaven are unable to sin, having been “confirmed” in their goodness; and, nevertheless, are more free than humans are in the present life. The rise of voluntarist conceptions of the will in the late thirteenth century made it increasingly difficult to hold onto both claims. Peter Olivi suggested that the impeccability of the blessed was dependent upon a special activity of God upon their wills and argued that this external constraint upon (...)
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  10. The Absolute Primacy of the Intellect in Aquinas: A Reaction to Fabro’s Position.Andres Ayala - 2023 - The Incarnate Word 10 (2):41-122.
    St. Thomas Aquinas has always considered intelligence a potency higher than the will, absolutely speaking. That being said, and in my view, the existential primacy of the will in the act of freedom (particularly in choosing the existential end) is also indisputably Thomistic, as Cornelio Fabro has shown. This paper endeavors to explain Aquinas' doctrine on the absolute primacy of the intellect and thus show that these two primacies can be affirmed coherently, that is, the intellect’s absolute primacy and the (...)
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  11. Libertarianism and agentive experience.Justin A. Capes - 2023 - Philosophical Issues 33 (1):33-44.
    Libertarianism about free will conjoins the thesis that free will requires indeterminism with the thesis that we have free will. Here the claim that we have experiential evidence for the libertarian position is assessed. It is argued that, on a straightforward reading, the claim is false, for our experiences as agents don't support the claim that free will requires indeterminism. However, our experiences as agents may still have a role to play in an overall case for libertarianism, insofar as they (...)
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  12. Free Will and the Moral Vice Explanation of Hell's Finality.Robert J. Hartman - 2023 - Religious Studies 59 (4):714-728.
    According to the Free Will Explanation of a traditional view of hell, human freedom explains why some people are in hell. It also explains hell’s punishment and finality: persons in hell have freely developed moral vices that are their own punishment and that make repentance psychologically impossible. So, even though God continues to desire reconciliation with persons in hell, damned persons do not want reconciliation with God. But this moral vice explanation of hell’s finality is implausible. I argue that God (...)
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  13. Richard Kilvington talks to Thomas Bradwardine about future contingents, free will, and predestination: a critical edition of Question 4 from Quaestiones super libros Sententiarum.Richard Kilvington - 2023 - Boston: Brill. Edited by Elżbieta Jung-Palczewska & Monika Michałowska.
    Richard Kilvington (ca. 1302-1361) was one of the most original and influential thinkers among the Oxford Calculators. His impact on late medieval philosophy and theology remains unquestionable. His physical, logical, and ethical solutions were extensively debated and referred to, paving the way for new approaches in philosophy and theology. This volume presents a critical edition of question 4 from Kilvington's Quaestiones super libros Sententiarum, complete with an introduction to the edition and a guide to Kilvington's theological concepts.
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  14. A puzzle about moral responsibility.Fabio Lampert & John William Waldrop - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (8):2291-2307.
    We present a new puzzle about logical truth, necessity, and moral responsibility. We defend one solution to the puzzle. A corollary of our preferred solution is that prominent arguments for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility are invalid.
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  15. Responsibility, Free Will, and the Concept of Basic Desert.Leonhard Menges - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (2):615-636.
    Many philosophers characterize a particularly important sense of free will and responsibility by referring to basically deserved blame. But what is basically deserved blame? The aim of this paper is to identify the appraisal entailed by basic desert claims. It presents three desiderata for an account of desert appraisals and it argues that important recent theories fail to meet them. Then, the paper presents and defends a promising alternative. The basic idea is that claims about basically deserved blame entail that (...)
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  16. Precis of Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy. SKEPSIS Book Symposium: Paul Russell, Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy, With replies to critics: Peter Fosl (pp. 77-95), Claude Gautier (pp. 96-111) , and Todd Ryan (pp.112-122).Paul Russell - 2023 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 14 (26):71-73.
    Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy is a collection of essays that are all concerned with major figures and topics in the early modern philosophy. Most of the essays are concerned, more specifically, with the philosophy of David Hume (1711-1776). The sixteen essays included in this collection are divided into five parts. These parts are arranged under the headings of: (1) Metaphysics and Epistemology; (2) Free Will and Moral Luck; (3) Ethics, Virtue and Optimism; (4) Skepticism, Religion and Atheism; and (...)
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  17. A problem with the fixed past fixed.Jacek Wawer - 2023 - Synthese 202 (5):1-15.
    A novel fatalistic argument that combines elements of modal, temporal, and epistemic logic to prove that the fixed past is not compatible with the open future has recently been presented by Lampert (Analysis 82(3):426–434, 2022). By the construction of a countermodel, it is shown that his line of reasoning is defective. However, it is also explained how Lampert’s argument could be corrected if it were supported with an extra premise regarding the temporal status of a priori knowledge. This additional assumption—which (...)
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  18. Free Will and A Clockwork Orange.Sara Bizarro - 2022 - Ethical Perspectives 29 (2):171-195.
    This article looks at the film A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick 1971) through the lenses of the free will debate. The main argument proposed is that the film exemplifies a view of free will that I call polythetic. This view says that free will needs to be understood as containing several criteria that allow us to see an action as more or less free, but none of the characteristics is essential for an action to be classified as free. In this view, (...)
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  19. A Companion to Free Will.Joseph Keim Campbell, Kristin M. Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.) - 2022 - Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    The concept of free will is fraught with controversy, as readers of this volume likely know. Philosophers disagree about what free will is, whether we have it, what mitigates or destroys it, and what it's good for. Indeed, philosophers even disagree about how to fix the referent of the term 'free will' for purposes of describing and exploring these disagreements. What one person considers a reasonably neutral working definition of 'free will' is often considered question-begging or otherwise misguided by another. (...)
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  20. Precis of Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice.Gregg D. Caruso - 2022 - Journal of Legal Philosophy 2 (46):120-125.
  21. Moral Responsibility Reconsidered.Gregg D. Caruso & Derk Pereboom - 2022 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Derk Pereboom.
    This Element examines the concept of moral responsibility as it is used in contemporary philosophical debates and explores the justifiability of the moral practices associated with it, including moral praise/blame, retributive punishment, and the reactive attitudes of resentment and indignation. After identifying and discussing several different varieties of responsibility-including causal responsibility, take-charge responsibility, role responsibility, liability responsibility, and the kinds of responsibility associated with attributability, answerability, and accountability-it distinguishes between basic and non-basic desert conceptions of moral responsibility and considers a (...)
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  22. Free Will And The Rebel Angels In Medieval Philosophy. [REVIEW]Bonaventure Chapman - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):137-140.
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  23. Free Will and (In)determinism in Hang the DJ.Taylor Cyr - 2022 - In Amber Bowen & John Anthony Dunne (eds.), Theology and Black Mirror. Lanham, MD: Fortress Academic. pp. 55-65.
    Like most episodes of Black Mirror, “Hang the DJ” raises a host of philosophical questions. While there is much from this episode to explore, this chapter will explore something that has not yet been addressed in other work, namely the connection between “Hang the DJ” and questions about free will and determinism (or indeterminism, as the case may be). This chapter will proceed as follows: first, I will sketch some reasons for thinking that, if determinism is true, then no one (...)
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  24. Davidson and Putnam on the Antinomy of Free Will.Mario De Caro - 2022 - In Sanjit Chakraborty & James Ferguson Conant (eds.), Engaging Putnam. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. pp. 249-262.
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  25. Manipulation, machine induction, and bypassing.Gabriel De Marco - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 180 (2):487-507.
    A common style of argument in the literature on free will and moral responsibility is the Manipulation Argument. These tend to begin with a case of an agent in a deterministic universe who is manipulated, say, via brain surgery, into performing some action. Intuitively, this agent is not responsible for that action. Yet, since there is no relevant difference, with respect to whether an agent is responsible, between the manipulated agent and a typical agent in a deterministic universe, responsibility is (...)
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  26. Replies to Timmerman and Gorman.John Martin Fischer - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (3):395-414.
    In my reply to the thoughtful comments of Timmerman and Gorman, I take up, and further explore, some main questions, including: Can a horribly immoral person (a moral monster) lead a meaningful life? Similarly, can a significantly deluded person lead a meaningful life? What role do judgments of meaningfulness play in our normative framework? How can we understand the debate between those who would embrace the possibility of immortality and those who would reject it? What is the role of narrativity (...)
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  27. Review of: Laura Ekstrom, God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will. [REVIEW]Perry Hendrix - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (4).
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  28. The ability to do otherwise and the new dispositionalism.Romy Jaster - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (9):1149-1166.
    According to the New Dispositionalist’s response to the Frankfurt Cases, Jones can do otherwise because Black merely masks (or finks), but does not deprive Jones of the relevant ability. This reasoning stands in the tradition of a line of thought according to which an informed view of the truth conditions of ability attributions allows for a compatibilist stance. The promise is that once we understand how abilities work, it turns out that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with determinism, (...)
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  29. God’s Prime Directive: Non-Interference and Why There Is No (Viable) Free Will Defense.David Kyle Johnson - 2022 - Religions 13 (9).
    In a recent book and article, James Sterba has argued that there is no free will defense. It is the purpose of this article to show that, in the most technical sense, he is wrong. There is a version of the free will defense that can solve what Sterba (rightly) takes to be the most interesting and severe version of the logical problem of moral evil. However, I will also argue that, in effect (or, we might say, in practice), Sterba (...)
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  30. Grace and Free Will: On Quiescence and Avoiding Semi-Pelagianism.Simon Kittle - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (4):70-95.
    Several recent incompatibilist accounts of divine grace and human free will have appealed to the notion of quiescence in an attempt to avoid semi-Pelagianism while retaining the fallen person’s control over coming to faith and thus the agent’s responsibility for failing to come to faith. In this essay I identify three distinct roles that quiescence has been employed to play in the recent literature. I outline how an account of divine grace and human free will may employ quiescence to play (...)
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  31. A puzzle about the fixity of the past.Fabio Lampert - 2022 - Analysis 82 (3):426-434.
    It is a widely held principle that no one is able to do something that would require the past to have been different from how it actually is. This principle of the fixity of the past has been presented in numerous ways, playing a crucial role in arguments for logical and theological fatalism, and for the incompatibility of causal determinism and the ability to do otherwise. I will argue that, assuming bivalence, this principle is in conflict with standard views about (...)
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  32. Plotinus, Ennead VI.8: On the Voluntary and on the Free Will of the One, edited by Kevin Corrigan and John D. Turner.Péter Lautner - 2022 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 17 (1):109-113.
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  33. Free will: an opinionated guide.Alfred R. Mele - 2022 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    What did you do a moment ago? What will you do after you read this? Are you deciding as we speak, or is something else going on in your brain or elsewhere in your body that is determining your actions? Stopping to think this way can freeze us in our tracks. A lot in the world feels far beyond our control--the last thing we need is to question whether we make our own choices in the way we usually assume we (...)
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  34. Free Will Ruled by Reason: Pufendorf on Moral Value and Moral Estimation.Katerina Mihaylova - 2022 - Intellectual History Review 32 (1):71-87.
    Pufendorf makes a clear distinction between the physical constitution of human beings and their value as human beings, stressing that the latter is justified exclusively by the regular use of the free will. According to Pufendorf, the regular use of free will requires certain inventions (divine as well as human) imposed on the free will and called moral entities. He claims that these inventions determine the moral quality of a human being as well as the standards according to which human (...)
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  35. Defending the Free Will Defense: A Reply to Sterba.Luis Oliveira - 2022 - Religions 13 (11):1126-1138.
    James Sterba has recently argued that the free will defense fails to explain the compossibility of a perfect God and the amount and degree of moral evil that we see. I think he is mistaken about this. I thus find myself in the awkward and unexpected position, as a non-theist myself, of defending the free will defense. In this paper, I will try to show that once we take care to focus on what the free will defense is trying to (...)
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  36. Free Will and the Rebel Angels in Medieval Philosophy.Robert Pasnau - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (2):222-226.
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  37. Free Will and Human Agency: 50 Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Thought Experiments.Garrett Pendergraft - 2022 - Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Thought Experiments in Philosophy.
    In this new kind of entrée to discussions of free will and human agency, Pendergraft illuminates 50 puzzles, paradoxes, and thought experiments. Assuming no familiarity with the topic, each chapter describes a case, explains the questions that it raises, summarizes some of the key responses, and provides suggested readings.
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  38. What does it mean to inhibit an Action? A Critical Discussion of Benjamin Libet’s Veto in a Recent Study.Robert Reimer - 2022 - Software Engineering and Formal Methods. SEFM 2021 Collocated Workshops. SEFM 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 13230.
    In the 1980s, physiologist Benjamin Libet conducted a series of ex-periments to test whether the will is free. Whilst he originally assumed that the will functions like an immaterial initiator of cerebral processes culminating in actions, he later began to think that it rather works like an immaterial veto inhib-iting unwanted actions by preventing unconsciously initiated cerebral processes from unfolding. Libet’s veto was widely criticized for its Cartesian dualist and interactionist implications. However, in 2016, Schultze-Kraft et al. adopted Libet’s idea (...)
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  39. Saving Eternity (and Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will): A Reply to Hasker.Katherin Rogers - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):79-89.
    William Hasker and I disagree over whether or not appealing to a particular understanding of divine eternity can reconcile divine foreknowledge with libertarian human freedom. Hasker argues that if God had foreknowledge of a particular future choice, that choice cannot be free with libertarian freedom. I hold, to the contrary, that, given a certain theory of time—the view that all times exist equally—it is possible to reconcile divine foreknowledge with libertarian freedom. In a recent article, “Can Eternity be Saved? A (...)
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  40. Narrative Determination.Paul Studtmann & Christopher Shields - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (4):779-798.
    The traditional problem of free will has reached an impasse; we are unlikely to see progress without rethinking the terms in which the problem had been cast. Our approach offers an alternative to the standard terms of the debate, by developing an authorially parameterized approach articulated within a two-dimensional semantics for temporal predicates.
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  41. The Openness of God: Hasker on Eternity and Free Will.Eleonore Stump - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):91-106.
    The understanding of God’s mode of existence as eternal makes a significant difference to a variety of issues in contemporary philosophy of religion, including, for instance, the apparent incompatibility of divine omniscience with human freedom. But the concept has come under attack in current philosophical discussion as inefficacious to solve the philosophical puzzles for which it seems so promising. Although Boethius in the early 6th century thought that the concept could resolve the apparent incompatibility between divine foreknowledge and human free (...)
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  42. God and the Value of Free Will.Luke Teeninga - 2022 - Sophia 61 (3):643-657.
    It is standard practice to appeal to libertarian free will to explain how God’s existence might be compatible with much of the evil we see in the actual world. Libertarian free will has also been important to certain responses to the argument for atheism from divine hiddenness. But what is often neglected in appealing to libertarian free will, as others have pointed out, is an explanation of why God would create us with such free will in the first place. Laura (...)
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  43. Theological Perspectives on Free Will: Compatibility, Christology, and Community.Olli-Pekka Vainio & Aku Visala (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    Free will is a perennial theological and philosophical topic. As a central dogmatic locus, it is implicated in discussions around core Christian doctrines such as grace, salvation, sin, providence, evil and predestination. This book offers a state-of-the-art look at recent debates about free will in analytic and philosophical theology. The chapters revolve around three central themes: the debate between theological compatibilists and libertarians, the communal nature of Christian freedom, and the role of free will in Christology. With contributions by leading (...)
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  44. Across the Confessional Divide: Johannes Hoornbeeck, José de Acosta, and the Role of Force and Free Will in the Development of a Reformed Missiology.Floris Verhaart - 2022 - Journal of the History of Ideas 83 (4):629-642.
    Abstract:This article seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between Catholic and Protestant theories of mission by examining the influence of the Jesuit José de Acosta on the De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669), one of the first comprehensive handbooks of Protestant missiology, written by Johannes Hoornbeeck. It is demonstrated that Acosta's Thomist emphasis on the willing acceptance of a new faith made his ideas particularly attractive to Hoornbeeck and are the reason why the latter preferred Jesuit (...)
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  45. Do We Have Free Will?Coco Zhang - 2022 - Questions 22:5-6.
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  46. Do We Have Free Will?Coco Zhang - 2022 - Questions 22:5-6.
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  47. Must God Create the Best Available Creatures?Mark J. Boone - 2021 - Philosophia Christi 23 (2):271-289.
    J. L. Mackie distinguished himself in twentieth-century philosophy by presenting an important objection to the traditional free will explanation for why God would allow evil: If evil is due to the free choice of creatures, why wouldn’t an omnipotent God simply create free creatures who would choose better? Alvin Plantinga, in turn, distinguished himself with his critique of Mackie. Plantinga’s main point is that Mackie made a mistake in assuming that it is within the power of omnipotence fully to create (...)
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  48. Free actions as a natural kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. My view (...)
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  49. Hegel’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem.Robert Donoghue - 2021 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 8 (2):155-174.
    G.W.F. Hegel offers a thorough, complex, and unique theory of free will in the Philosophy of Right. In what follows, I argue that Hegel’s conceptualization of free will makes the mistake of collapsing the possibility of organic freedom (the ability to act freely of causal determination) into the potential for moral freedom (the capacity to act in accordance with Reason). This article engages in three distinct tasks in making this argument. First, I provide a critical overview of Hegel’s conception of (...)
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  50. God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will.Laura W. Ekstrom - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
    "This book focuses on arguments from suffering against the existence of God and on a variety of issues concerning agency and value that they bring out. The central aim is to show the extent and power of arguments from evil. The book provides a close investigation of an under-defended claim at the heart of the major free-will-based responses to such arguments, namely that free will is sufficiently valuable to serve as the good, or prominently among the goods, that provides a (...)
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