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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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427 found
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1 — 50 / 427
  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. Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Philosophy.Desmonde Clarke Catherine Wilson (ed.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  4. 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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  5. Replies to Timmerman and Gorman.John Martin Fischer - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-20.
    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 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 in evaluating meaning (...)
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  6. The Ability to Do Otherwise and the New Dispositionalism.Romy Jaster - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    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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  7. Bruce N. Waller, Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and the Desire to Be a God, (Lexington Books), 2020.Andreas Kuersten - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-3.
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  8. A Puzzle About the Fixity of the Past.Fabio Lampert - forthcoming - Analysis.
    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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Foundational Grounding and Creaturely Freedom.Kenneth L. Pearce - forthcoming - Mind:fzab024.
    According to classical theism, the universe depends on God in a way that goes beyond mere (efficient) causation. I have previously argued that this ‘deep dependence’ of the universe on God is best understood as a type of grounding. In a recent paper in this journal, Aaron Segal argues that this doctrine of deep dependence causes problems for creaturely free will: if our choices are grounded in facts about God, and we have no control over these facts, then we do (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Precis of Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice.Gregg D. Caruso - 2022 - Journal of Legal Philosophy 2 (46):120-125.
  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. The Principle of Sufficient Reason and Libertarianism: A Critique of Pruss.Brandon Rdzak - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):201-216.
    Alexander Pruss’s Principle of Sufficient Reason states that every contingent true proposition has an explanation. Pruss thinks that he can plausibly maintain both his PSR and his account of libertarian free will. This is because his libertarianism has it that contingent true propositions reporting free choices are self-explanatory. But I don’t think Pruss can plausibly maintain both his PSR and libertarianism without a rift occurring in one or the other. Similar to the old luck/randomness objection, I contend that Pruss’s libertarianism (...)
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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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 into the potential for moral freedom. This article engages in three distinct tasks in making this argument. First, I provide a critical overview of Hegel’s conception of free will – namely, how he envisages the movement from the abstract, incomplete, and undeveloped will, (...)
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  21. Review Of: Laura Ekstrom, God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will. [REVIEW]Perry Hendrix - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (4).
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  22. Free Will and the Rebel Angels in Medieval Philosophy.Tobias Hoffmann - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this book Tobias Hoffmann studies the medieval free will debate during its liveliest period, from the 1220s to the 1320s, and clarifies its background in Aristotle, Augustine, and earlier medieval thinkers. Among the wide range of authors he examines are not only well-known thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham, but also a number of authors who were just as important in their time and deserve to be rediscovered today. To shed further light on their (...)
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  23. Reasons‐Sensitivity and Degrees of Free Will.Alex Kaiserman - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):687-709.
  24. The Evil That Free Will Does: Plantinga’s Dubious Defense.Mark Maller - 2021 - Metaphysica (1).
    ABSTRACT -/- The Evil That Free Will Does: Plantinga’s Dubious Defense -/- Alvin Plantinga’s controversial free will defense (FWD) for the problem of evil is an important attempt to show with certainty that moral evils are compatible and justifiable with God’s omnipotence and omniscience. I agree with critics who argue that it is untenable and the FWD fails. This paper proposes new criticisms by analyzing Plantinga’s presuppositions and objectionable assumptions in God, Freedom and Evil. Notably, his limited concept of omnipotence, (...)
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  25. The Zygote Argument Is Still Invalid: So What?Kristin M. Mickelson - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (2):705-722.
    In “The Zygote Argument is Invalid: Now What?” (2015), Kristin Mickelson argues that Alfred Mele’s original Zygote Argument is invalid: its two premises tell us merely that the truth of determinism is correlated with the absence of free human agents, but the argument nonetheless concludes with a specific explanation for that correlation, namely that deterministic laws preclude—rule out, destroy, undermine, make impossible, rob us of—free will. In a recent essay, Gabriel De Marco (2016) grants that the original Zygote Argument is (...)
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  26. Free Will Versus Determinism - As Determined by Radical Conceptual Changes.Nancey Murphy - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 23 (3):29-50.
    My objective in this article is to question whether the problem of free will can, within our current conceptual system, be framed coherently. It is already widely recognized that a mental faculty, the will, needed to initiate action, no longer fits with current thought. However, we can still ask whether human decisions and actions are determined by something other than the agent. So the important question is whether we still have a cogent concept of determinism. The two prevalent alternatives are (...)
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  27. Responsibility Skepticism and Strawson’s Naturalism: Review Essay on Pamela Hieronymi, Freedom, Resentment & The Metaphysics of Morals (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020).Paul Russell - 2021 - Ethics 131 (4):754-776.
    There are few who would deny that P. F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” (1962) ranks among the most significant contributions to modern moral philosophy. Although any number of essays have been devoted to it, Pamela Hieronymi’s 'Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals' is the first book-length study. The aim of Hieronymi’s study is to show that Strawson’s “central argument” has been “underestimated and misunderstood.” Hieronymi interprets this argument in terms of what she describes as Strawson’s “social naturalism”. Understood this (...)
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  28. God, suffering, and the value of free will. Laura W. Ekstrom. Oxford University Press, 2021. 248 pp., $99.95. [REVIEW]Leigh Vicens - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 90 (3):251-255.
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  29. Buddhism, Free Will, and Punishment: Taking Buddhist Ethics Seriously.Gregg D. Caruso - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):474-496.
  30. Free Will: Real or Illusion - A Debate.Gregg D. Caruso, Christian List & Cory J. Clark - 2020 - The Philosopher 108 (1).
    Debate on free will with Christian List, Gregg Caruso, and Cory Clark. The exchange is focused on Christian List's book Why Free Will Is Real.
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  31. 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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  32. It’s Up to You.Randolph Clarke - 2020 - The Monist 103 (3):328-341.
    Part of our ordinary conception of our freedom is the idea that commonly when we act—and often even when we don’t act—it is up to us whether we do this or that. This paper examines efforts to spell out what must be the case for this idea to be correct. Several claims regarding the basic metaphysics of agential powers are considered; they are found not to shed light on the issue. Thinking about agents’ psychological capacities provides some illumination, though the (...)
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  33. Free Will & Empirical Arguments for Epiphenomenalism.Nadine Elzein - 2020 - In Peter Róna & László Zsolnai (eds.), Agency and Causal Explanation in Economics. Virtues and Economics, vol 5. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 3-20.
    While philosophers have worried about mental causation for centuries, worries about the causal relevance of conscious phenomena are also increasingly featuring in neuroscientific literature. Neuroscientists have regarded the threat of epiphenomenalism as interesting primarily because they have supposed that it entails free will scepticism. However, the steps that get us from a premise about the causal irrelevance of conscious phenomena to a conclusion about free will are not entirely clear. In fact, if we examine popular philosophical accounts of free will, (...)
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  34. 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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  35. Is Free Will Confucian? Li Zehou's Confucian Revision of the Kantian Will.Robert A. Carleo Iii - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (1):63-83.
    In recent decades a small wave of scholars has argued that classical Confucian moral teachings are characterized by the lack of a concept of free will. Li Zehou, in contrast, places free will at the center of his reading of classical Confucian ethics. Is this too interpretive? Does it do violence to the concept of free will, or to classical Confucian morality? Could it even be un-Confucian?Li Zehou puts forth his systematic ethics as part of “a world philosophy that incorporates (...)
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  36. The Moral Tug: Conscience, Quiescence and Free Will.Rolfe King - 2020 - Theologica 4 (2).
    In this article I argue that if conscience, working properly, involves some form of ‘moral tug’, then this is incompatible with the state of ‘quiescence’ put forward as a central element of Eleonore Stump’s account of repentance. Quiescence is also a key notion for Stump’s theodicy in Wandering in the Darkness and Stump’s thesis in her book, Atonement. Quiescence is about an inactive, or neutral, or stationary, state of the will prior to turning to the good, or God, through receiving (...)
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  37. Free Will and Desire.Brian Looper - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1347-1360.
    I make a case for the thesis that no one can refrain from trying to attain the object of his or her currently strongest desire. I arrive there by defending an argument by Peter van Inwagen for a relatively mild conclusion about the way desires limit our abilities, and by arguing that if van Inwagen’s conclusion is correct, and correct for his reasons, so is my bolder thesis. I close with replies to objections, such as the objection that it is (...)
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  38. 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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  39. Robotic Ai, Crispr, and Free Will.Arthur C. Petersen - 2020 - Zygon 55 (2):283-285.
  40. 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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  41. Free Will in the Clustered-Minds Multiverse, and Some Comments on S. Sarasvathy’s ‘Choice Matters’.Christian D. Schade - 2020 - Mind and Society 19 (2):323-330.
    This paper sketches a new version of the multiverse interpretation of quantum mechanics, the clustered-minds multiverse, that has been presented in detail elsewhere. It briefly shows why it grants us with free will and reflects upon the possibilty of singular-universe explanations of free will. It also critically comments upon S. Sarasvathy's 'choice matters,' one of the other contributions to this mini symposium.
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  42. Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and the Desire to Be a God.Bruce N. Waller - 2020 - Lexington Books.
    This book examines a nonconscious and profoundly harmful desire that is almost universally denied: the desire to be a god. Afflicting believers and nonbelievers alike, the desire is manifested in religious myths and throughout the history of philosophy.
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  43. 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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  44. Can Life Be Meaningful Without Free Will?Drew Chastain - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1069-1086.
    If we lack deep free agency, like that supposed by metaphysical libertarianism, should we view life as meaningless, pointless, or not worth living? Here I present a new argument in support of meaning-compatibilism, or the view that life can indeed be meaningful without our having deep free agency. I show that this argument secures meaning-compatibilism more effectively than an argument provided by Derk Pereboom. In the process, we learn that Susan Wolf’s hybrid theory of meaning in life is not equipped (...)
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  45. The Free Will Defense Revisited: The Instrumental Value of Significant Free Will.Frederick Choo & Esther Goh - 2019 - International Journal of Theology, Philosophy and Science (4):32-45.
    Alvin Plantinga has famously responded to the logical problem of evil by appealing to the intrinsic value of significant free will. A problem, however, arises because traditional theists believe that both God and the redeemed who go to heaven cannot do wrong acts. This entails that both God and the redeemed in heaven lack significant freedom. If significant freedom is indeed valuable, then God and the redeemed in heaven would lack something intrinsically valuable. However, if significant freedom is not intrinsically (...)
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  46. Divine Omniscience and Human Free Will: A Logical and Metaphysical Analysis.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    This book deals with an old conundrum: if God knows what we will choose tomorrow, how can we be free to choose otherwise? If all our choices are already written, is our freedom simply an illusion? This book provides a precise analysis of this dilemma using the tools of modern ontology and the logic of time. With a focus on three intertwined concepts - God's nature, the formal structure of time, and the metaphysics of time, including the relationship between temporal (...)
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  47. Sublating the Free Will Problematic: Powers, Agency and Causal Determination.Ruth Groff - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):179-200.
    I argue that realism about causal powers sublates the passivist, Humean-inflected free will problematic. In the first part of the paper I show that adopting what I call ‘powers-non-determinism’ reconfigures the conceptual terrain with respect to the causation component of the contemporary problematic. In part two I show how adopting ‘powers-non-determinism’ significantly alters the nature of the discussion with respect to the agency component of the problematic. In part three I compare ‘powers-non-determinism’ to an otherwise- Humean agent causal position.
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  48. Ways to Be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility.Elinor Mason - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Elinor Mason draws on ethics and responsibility theory to present a pluralistic view of both wrongness and blameworthiness. Mason argues that our moral concepts, rightness and wrongness, must be connected to our responsibility concepts. But the connection is not simple. She identifies three different ways to be blameworthy, corresponding to different ways of acting wrongly. The paradigmatic way to be blameworthy is to act subjectively wrongly. Mason argues for an account of subjective obligation that is connected to the notion of (...)
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  49. Free Will, Self‐Creation, and the Paradox of Moral Luck.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):224-256.
    How is the problem of free will related to the problem of moral luck? In this essay, I answer that question and outline a new solution to the paradox of moral luck, the source-paradox solution. This solution both explains why the paradox arises and why moral luck does not exist. To make my case, I highlight a few key connections between the paradox of moral luck and two related problems, namely the problem of free will and determinism and the paradox (...)
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  50. The Moral Problem with the Free Will Defense Against the Problem of Evil.Andrew Pavelich - 2019 - Heythrop Journal 60 (5):678-688.
1 — 50 / 427