Free will and moral responsibility

In David Copp (ed.), Handbook on Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press (2004)
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Abstract

Much has been written recently about free will and moral responsibility. In this paper I will focus on the relationship between free will, on the one hand, and various notions that fall under the rubric of “morality,” broadly construed, on the other: deliberation and practical reasoning, moral responsibility, and ethical notions such as “ought,” “right,” “wrong,” “good,” and “bad.” I shall begin by laying out a natural understanding of freedom of the will. Next I develop some challenges to the common-sense view that we have this sort of freedom. I will go on to explore the implications of this challenge for deliberation, moral responsibility, and the central ethical notions.

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John Fischer
University of California, Riverside

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