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  1. Freedom in Uncertainty.Filippos Stamatiou - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Copenhagen
    This work develops a philosophically credible and psychologically realisable account of control that is necessary for moral responsibility. We live, think, and act in an environment of subjective uncertainty and limited information. As a result, our decisions and actions are influenced by factors beyond our control. Our ability to act freely is restricted by uncertainty, ignorance, and luck. Through three articles, I develop a naturalistic theory of control for action as a process of error minimisation that extends over time. Thus (...)
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  • Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience.Bernard Feltz, Marcus Missal & Andrew Cameron Sims (eds.) - 2019 - Brill.
    This book aims to show that recent developments in neuroscience permit a defense of free will. Through language, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.
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  • Moral Sequencing and Intervening to Prevent Harm.Benjamin David Costello - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    This thesis will utilise the literature on the distinction between doing harm and allowing harm to develop a novel system of moral sequencing that can be applied to general moral problems to decide if, when, and how an agent should intervene to prevent harm from occurring to another agent. Off the back of this discussion, this thesis will offer a way of determining the responsibility of certain agents for their actions within a moral sequence. These motivations will be at the (...)
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  • Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millenia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very (...)
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  • On an Argument for the Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.Randolph Clarke - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):13-24.
    Galen Strawson has published several versions of an argument to the effect that moral responsibility is impossible, whether determinism is true or not. Few philosophers have been persuaded by the argument, which Strawson remarks is often dismissed “as wrong, or irrelevant, or fatuous, or too rapid, or an expression of metaphysical megalomania.” I offer here a two-part explanation of why Strawson’s argument has impressed so few. First, as he usually states it, the argument is lacking at least one key premise. (...)
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  • The Conceptual Foundation of Morality.Gal Yehezkel - 2021 - Springer.
    This book offers a solution to the ancient philosophical problem regarding the nature and the justification of morality. The importance of this subject matter is obvious, not merely as an abstract philosophical problem, but perhaps even more as a practical challenge, regarding the way we ought to live our lives: the values that ought to direct us, and the ends that we ought to pursue. -/- In the course of this inquiry, a wide array of philosophical topics is explored: the (...)
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  • The Counterfactual Theory of Free Will: A Genuinely Deterministic Form of Soft Determinism.Rick Repetti - 2010 - Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
    I argue for a soft compatibilist theory of free will, i.e., such that free will is compatible with both determinism and indeterminism, directly opposite hard incompatibilism, which holds free will incompatible both with determinism and indeterminism. My intuitions in this book are primarily based on an analysis of meditation, but my arguments are highly syncretic, deriving from many fields, including behaviorism, psychology, conditioning and deconditioning theory, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, simulation theory, etc. I offer a causal/functional analysis of (...)
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  • Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy.Bob Doyle - 2011 - Cambridge, MA, USA: I-Phi Press.
    A sourcebook/textbook on the problem of free will and determinism. Contains a history of the free will problem, a taxonomy of current free will positions, the standard argument against free will, the physics, biology, and neuroscience of free will, the most plausible and practical solution of the problem, and reviews of the work of the leading determinist Ted Honderich, the leading libertarian Robert Kane, the well-known compatibilist Daniel Dennett, and the determinism-agnostic Alfred Mele.
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  • Why Free Will Remains a Mystery.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
    Peter van Inwagen contends that free will is a mystery. Here I present an argument in the spirit of van Inwagen's. According to the Assimilation Argument, libertarians cannot plausibly distinguish causally undetermined actions, the ones they take to be exercises of free will, from overtly randomized outcomes of the sort nobody would count as exercises of free will. I contend that the Assimilation Argument improves on related arguments in locating the crucial issues between van Inwagen and libertarians who hope to (...)
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  • Dennett on the Basic Argument.John Martin Fischer - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (4):427-435.
    Christopher Taylor has greatly clarified my thinking on this topic and shown me how to launch a deeper and more radical campaign in support of my earlier claims to this effect, and our coauthored paper (Taylor and Dennett 2001) provides more technical detail than is needed here. Here I will attempt a gentler version of our argument, highlighting the main points so that non-philosophers can at least see what the points of contention are, and how we propose to settle them, (...)
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  • A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will.Mark Balaguer - 2002 - Noûs 36 (3):379-406.
    Let libertarianism be the view that humans are capable of making decisions that are simultaneously undetermined and appropriately non-random. It’s often argued that this view is incoherent because indeterminacy entails randomness (of some appropriate kind). I argue here that the truth is just the opposite: the right kind of indeterminacy in our decisions actually entails appropriate non-randomness, so that libertarianism is coherent, and the question of whether it’s true reduces to the wide-open empirical question of whether certain of our decisions (...)
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  • Wanting, Willing, Trying and Kane's Theory of Free Will.John Lemos - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (1):31-48.
    Robert Kane's event-causal libertarian theory of free will has been subjected to a variety of criticisms. In response to the luck objection, he has provided an ambiguous answer which results in additional criticisms that are avoidable. I explain Kane's theory, the luck objection and Kane's reply to the problem of luck. I note that in some places he suggests that the dual wantings of agents engaged in self-forming actions (SFAs) provides the key to answering the luck objection, whereas in other (...)
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  • Action Explanation and the Free Will Debate: How Incompatibilist Arguments Go Wrong1.Scott Sehon - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):351-368.
  • Molinism: Explaining Our Freedom Away.Nevin Climenhaga & Daniel Rubio - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):459-485.
    Molinists hold that there are contingently true counterfactuals about what agents would do if put in specific circumstances, that God knows these prior to creation, and that God uses this knowledge in choosing how to create. In this essay we critique Molinism, arguing that if these theses were true, agents would not be free. Consider Eve’s sinning upon being tempted by a serpent. We argue that if Molinism is true, then there is some set of facts that fully explains both (...)
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  • Freedom and the Fixity of the Past.Wesley H. Holliday - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):179-207.
    According to the Principle of the Fixity of the Past (FP), no one can now do anything that would require the past to have unfolded differently than it actually did, for the past is fixed, over and done with. Why might doing something in the future require the past to be different? Because if determinism is true—if the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the Big Bang determined a unique future for our universe—then doing anything other than what (...)
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  • Traction Without Tracing: A Solution for Control‐Based Accounts of Moral Responsibility.Matt King - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):463-482.
    Control-based accounts of moral responsibility face a familiar problem. There are some actions which look like obvious cases of responsibility but which appear equally obviously to lack the requisite control. Drunk-driving cases are canonical instances. The familiar solution to this problem is to appeal to tracing. Though the drunk driver isn't in control at the time of the crash, this is because he previously drank to excess, an action over which he did plausibly exercise the requisite control. Tracing seeks to (...)
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  • The Trouble with Tracing.Manuel Vargas - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):269-290.
    Many prominent theories of moral responsibility rely on the notion of “tracing,” the idea that responsibility for an outcome can be located in (i.e., “traced back to”) some prior moment of control, perhaps significantly antecedent to the proximate sources of a considered action. In this article, I show how there is a problem for theories that rely on tracing. The problem is connected to the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. Many prima facie good candidate cases for tracing analyses appear to (...)
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  • Frankfurt-Style Counterexamples and Begging the Question.Stewart Goetz - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):83-105.
  • Agent Causation and the Problem of Luck.Randolph Clarke - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):408-421.
    : On a standard libertarian account of free will, an agent acts freely on some occasion only if there remains, until the action is performed, some chance that the agent will do something else instead right then. These views face the objection that, in such a case, it is a matter of luck whether the agent does one thing or another. This paper considers the problem of luck as it bears on agent‐causal libertarian accounts. A view of this type is (...)
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  • Incompatibilism and the Past.Andrew M. Bailey - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):351-376.
    There is a new objection to the Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. I argue that the objection is more wide-ranging than originally thought. In particular: if it tells against the Consequence Argument, it tells against other arguments for incompatibilism too. I survey a few ways of dealing with this objection and show the costs of each. I then present an argument for incompatibilism that is immune to the objection and that enjoys other advantages.
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  • The Three-Case Argument against the Moral Justificatory Significance of Basic Desert.Aleksandr Mishura - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-14.
    This paper challenges the moral justificatory significance of the notion of basic desert. The notion of basic desert is commonly used in the literature to distinguish a specific sense of moral responsibility that depends on free will. In this sense, a person is morally responsible for an action if this action belongs to her in such a way that she would deserve to be blamed if she understood that it was morally wrong, and she would deserve to be praised if (...)
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  • Free Will, Chance, and Mystery.Laura Ekstrom - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (2):153-80.
    This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall of the premises of his argument for (...)
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  • The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Karl Persson - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):326-354.
    In this paper, we do three things. First, we put forth a novel hypothesis about judgments of moral responsibility according to which such judgments are a species of explanatory judgments. Second, we argue that this hypothesis explains both some general features of everyday thinking about responsibility and the appeal of skeptical arguments against moral responsibility. Finally, we argue that, if correct, the hypothesis provides a defense against these skeptical arguments.
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  • Rational Abilities and Responsibility.Laura W. Ekstrom - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):459-466.
    For a symposium on Dana Nelkin's Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility.
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  • A Unified Empirical Account of Responsibility Judgments.Gunnar Björnsson & Karl Persson - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):611-639.
    Skeptical worries about moral responsibility seem to be widely appreciated and deeply felt. To address these worries—if nothing else to show that they are mistaken—theories of moral responsibility need to relate to whatever concept of responsibility underlies the worries. Unfortunately, the nature of that concept has proved hard to pin down. Not only do philosophers have conflicting intuitions; numerous recent empirical studies have suggested that both prosaic responsibility judgments and incompatibilist intuitions among the folk are influenced by a number of (...)
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  • Powers, Necessity, and Determinism.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):225-229.
    Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum have argued that a theory of free will that appeals to a powers-based ontology is incompatible with causal determinism. This is a surprising conclusion since much recent work on the intersection of the metaphysics of powers and free will has consisted of attempts to defend compatibilism by appealing to a powers-based ontology. In response I show that their argument turns on an equivocation of ‘all events are necessitated’.
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  • Natural Compatibilism Versus Natural Incompatibilism: Back to the Drawing Board.Adam Feltz, Edward T. Cokely & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):1-23.
    In the free will literature, some compatibilists and some incompatibilists claim that their views best capture ordinary intuitions concerning free will and moral responsibility. One goal of researchers working in the field of experimental philosophy has been to probe ordinary intuitions in a controlled and systematic way to help resolve these kinds of intuitional stalemates. We contribute to this debate by presenting new data about folk intuitions concerning freedom and responsibility that correct for some of the shortcomings of previous studies. (...)
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  • Chisholm on Freedom.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (5):630-648.
    This critical examination of Roderick Chisholm's agent causal brand of libertarianism develops a problem about luck that undermines his earlier and later libertarian views on free will and moral responsibility and defends the thesis that a modest libertarian alternative considerably softens the problem. The alternative calls for an indeterministic connection in the action-producing process that is further removed from action than Chisholm demands. The article also explores the implications of a relatively new variant of a Frankfurt-style case for Chisholm's views (...)
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  • The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
    According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of (...)
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  • 1922: Dziga Vertov.Dan Geva - 2021 - In A Philosophical History of Documentary, 1895-1959. Cham: Palmgrave Macmillan. pp. 93-100.
  • More Work for Hard Incompatibilism.Tamler Sommers - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):511-521.
  • Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner, Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  • The Place of the Trace: Negligence and Responsibility.Samuel Murray - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):39-52.
    One popular theory of moral responsibility locates responsible agency in exercises of control. These control-based theories often appeal to tracing to explain responsibility in cases where some agent is intuitively responsible for bringing about some outcome despite lacking direct control over that outcome’s obtaining. Some question whether control-based theories are committed to utilizing tracing to explain responsibility in certain cases. I argue that reflecting on certain kinds of negligence shows that tracing plays an ineliminable role in any adequate control-based theory (...)
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  • A Defense of Derk Pereboom’s Containment Policy.Jeremy Scharoun & Neil Campbell - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1291-1307.
    Derk Pereboom disagrees with P.F. Strawson that abandoning the reactive attitudes associated with praise and blame would come at the price of exiting our personal relationships. According to Pereboom, we can contain or modify our attitudes in ways that preserve, and perhaps even enrich interpersonal relationships. In a recent article, Seth Shabo defends “the inseparability thesis” in order to undermine Pereboom’s containment policy. Drawing on David Goldman’s work on non-antagonistic responses to wrongdoing, we defend Pereboom from Shabo’s critique.
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  • Criminal Quarantine and the Burden of Proof.Michael Corrado - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1095-1110.
    In the recent literature a number of free will skeptics, skeptics who believe that punishment is justified only if deserved, have argued for these two points: first, that the free will realist who would justify punishment has the burden of establishing to a high level of certainty - perhaps beyond a reasonable doubt, but certainly at least by clear and convincing evidence - that any person to be punished acted freely in breaking the law; and, second, that that level of (...)
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  • 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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  • Reactive Attitudes, Forgiveness, and the Second-Person Standpoint.Alexandra Couto - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1309-1323.
    Philosophers discussing forgiveness have usually been split between those who think that forgiveness is typically virtuous, even when the wrongdoer doesn’t repent, and those who think that, for forgiveness to be virtuous, certain pre-conditions must be satisfied. I argue that Darwall’s second-personal account of morality offers significant theoretical support for the latter view. I argue that if, as Darwall claims, reactive attitudes issue a demand, this demand needs to be adequately answered for forgiveness to be warranted. It follows that we (...)
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  • Event-Causal Libertarianism, Functional Reduction, and the Disappearing Agent Argument.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):413-432.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s freely bringing about a choice is reducible to states and events involving him bringing about the choice. Agent-causal libertarians demur, arguing that free will requires that the agent be irreducibly causally involved. Derk Pereboom and Meghan Griffith have defended agent-causal libertarianism on this score, arguing that since on event-causal libertarianism an agent’s contribution to his choice is exhausted by the causal role of states and events involving him, and since these states and events leave (...)
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  • Free Will and Mystery: Looking Past the Mind Argument.Seth Shabo - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):291-307.
    Among challenges to libertarians, the _Mind_ Argument has loomed large. Believing that this challenge cannot be met, Peter van Inwagen, a libertarian, concludes that free will is a mystery. Recently, the _Mind_ Argument has drawn a number of criticisms. Here I seek to add to its woes. Quite apart from its other problems, I argue, the _Mind_ Argument does a poor job of isolating the important concern for libertarians that it raises. Once this concern has been clarified, however, another argument (...)
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  • Farewell to the Luck (and Mind) Argument.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):199-230.
    In this paper I seek to defend libertarianism about free will and moral responsibility against two well-known arguments: the luck argument and the Mind argument. Both of these arguments purport to show that indeterminism is incompatible with the degree of control necessary for free will and moral responsibility. I begin the discussion by elaborating these arguments, clarifying important features of my preferred version of libertarianism—features that will be central to an adequate response to the arguments—and showing why a strategy of (...)
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  • Global Control and Freedom.Bernard Berofsky - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):419-445.
    Several prominent incompatibilists, e.g., Robert Kane and Derk Pereboom, have advanced an analogical argument in which it is claimed that a deterministic world is essentially the same as a world governed by a global controller. Since the latter world is obviously one lacking in an important kind of freedom, so must any deterministic world. The argument is challenged whether it is designed to show that determinism precludes freedom as power or freedom as self-origination. Contrary to the claims of its adherents, (...)
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  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility: The Trap, the Appreciation of Agency, and the Bubble. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):211-239.
    In Part I, I reflect in some detail upon the free will problem and about the way its understanding has radically changed. First I outline the four questions that go into making the free will problem. Second, I consider four paradigmatic shifts that have occurred in our understanding of this problem. Then I go on to reflect upon this complex and multi-level situation. In Part II of this essay, I explore the major alternative positions, and defend my views, in new (...)
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  • The Disappearing Agent.Filip Čeč - 2017 - In Berčić Boran (ed.), Perspectives on the Self. Rijeka, Croatia: pp. 235-253.
    In this paper I will address a specific luck argument that has been put forward against event causal libertarianism: the disappearing agent objection. I will show why some replies are unsatisfactory while dealing with this objection and, by criticizing the notion of settling and the conception of selfhood invoked by this objection I’ll suggest that the event causal libertarian should reject the objection as it rests on an unacceptable ontology and that consequently, he should bite the bullet and admit that (...)
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  • Free Will Fallibilism and the “Two-Standpoints” Account of Freedom.Michael Louis Corrado - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):1967-1982.
    In this paper I propose a form of free will fallibilism. Unlike the free will realist who is fully persuaded that we have sufficient evidence of freedom to justify holding individuals morally responsible for what they do and imposing punishment, and unlike the free will skeptic who is fully persuaded that we do not have enough evidence to believe that we face a future of open alternatives, the free will fallibilist will believe that we have enough evidence to justify a (...)
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  • The Public Health-Quarantine Model.Gregg D. Caruso - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press.
    One of the most frequently voiced criticisms of free will skepticism is that it is unable to adequately deal with criminal behavior and that the responses it would permit as justified are insufficient for acceptable social policy. This concern is fueled by two factors. The first is that one of the most prominent justifications for punishing criminals, retributivism, is incompatible with free will skepticism. The second concern is that alternative justifications that are not ruled out by the skeptical view per (...)
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  • Heidegger and Dilthey: Language, History, and Hermeneutics.Eric S. Nelson - 2014 - In Megan Altman Hans Pedersen (ed.), Horizons of Authenticity in Phenomenology, Existentialism, and Moral Psychology. springer. pp. 109-128.
    The hermeneutical tradition represented by Yorck, Heidegger, and Gadamer has distrusted Dilthey as suffering from the two sins of modernism: scientific “positivism” and individualistic and aesthetic “romanticism.” On the one hand, Dilthey’s epistemology is deemed scientistic in accepting the priority of the empirical, the ontic, and consequently scientific inquiry into the physical, biological, and human worlds; on the other hand, his personalist ethos and Goethean humanism, and his pluralistic life- and worldview philosophy are considered excessively aesthetic, culturally liberal, relativistic, and (...)
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  • Precis of Derk Perebooms Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Gregg D. Caruso - 2014 - Science Religion and Culture 1 (3):178-201.
    Derk Perebooms Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life (2014) provides the most lively and comprehensive defense of free will skepticism in the literature. It contains a reworked and expanded version of the view he first developed in Living without Free Will (2001). Important objections to the early book are answered, some slight modifications are introduced, and the overall account is significantly embellished—for example, Pereboom proposes a new account of rational deliberation consistent with the belief that one’s actions are causally (...)
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  • Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    In this thesis, I will defend a new kind of compatibilist account of free action, indirect conscious control compatibilism (or indirect compatibilism for short), and argue that some of our actions are free according to it. My argument has three components, and involves the development of a brand new tool for experimental philosophy, and the use of cognitive neuroscience. The first component of the argument shows that compatibilism (of some kind) is a conceptual truth. Contrary to the current orthodoxy in (...)
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  • "Acting on" Instead of" Stepping Back": Hegel's Conception of the Relation Between Motivations and the Free Will.Christopher Yeomans - 2010 - Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 15 (cialidad y subjetividad humanas):377-387.
    One of the most important elements of Hegel’s philosophical anthropology is his moral psychology. In particular, his understanding of the relation between motivations and reason plays a crucial intermediate role in connecting his anthropological meditations on the complete nature of the human being with his political theory of actualized freedom. Whereas recent important work on Hegel’s moral psychology has detected a Kantian distinction between natural desires and the rational perspective, the activity of practical reason actually takes place within motivations themselves (...)
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  • Free Will, Determinism, and Epiphenomenalism.Mark Balaguer - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    This paper provides articulates a non-epiphenomenal, libertarian kind of free will—a kind of free will that’s incompatible with both determinism and epiphenomenalism—and responds to scientific arguments against the existence of this sort of freedom. In other words, the paper argues that we don’t have any good empirical scientific reason to believe that human beings don’t possess a non-epiphenomenal, libertarian sort of free will.
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