Van Inwagen on introspected freedom

Philosophical Studies 168 (3):645-663 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Any philosopher who defends Free Will should have an answer to the epistemological question: “how do we know that we have such a capacity?” A traditional answer to this question is that we have some form of introspective access to our own Free Will. In recent times though, many philosophers have considered any such introspectionist theory as so obviously wrong that it hardly needs discussion, especially when Free Will is understood in libertarian terms. One of the rare objections to appear as an explicit argument was proposed by van Inwagen in his Essay on Free Will. In this paper, I address van Inwagen’s anti-introspection argument; I argue that it is both inconsistent with his overall treatment of the Existence Question (namely, with his defence of the existence of Free Will from reflections about morality), and inconclusive in itself (at least for anyone not ready to endorse general scepticism about perception). In passing, I give a clarification of the notion of Introspection, in the case of Freedom, that also sets a more favourable stage for the evaluation of further objections



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,386

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Why free will remains a mystery.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
Introspection and Free Will.Stewart E. Kelly - 1991 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 39 (1):155-164.
Van Inwagen on free will.Peter Van Inwagen - 2001 - In Joseph K. Campbell (ed.), Freedom and Determinism. Cambridge MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press.
Van Inwagen on free will.John Martin Fischer - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 36 (April):252-260.
Free will, chance, and mystery.Laura Ekstrom - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (2):153-80.
Common Sense, Strict Incompatibilism, and Free Will.Boris Rähme - 2013 - Philosophical Inquiries 1 (1):107-124.
Van Inwagen on free will and determinism.André Gallois - 1977 - Philosophical Studies 32 (July):99-105.
Can Libertarians Make Promises?Alfred Mele - 2004 - In John Hyman & Helen Steward (eds.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 217-241.


Added to PP

84 (#196,609)

6 months
17 (#141,290)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jean-Baptiste Guillon
Universidad de Navarra

Citations of this work

Free will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
How Do We Know That We Are Free?Timothy O’Connor - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):79-98.
Resisting the epistemic argument for compatibilism.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (5):1743-1767.
Libertarianism and agentive experience.Justin A. Capes - 2023 - Philosophical Issues 33 (1):33-44.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will.Timothy O'Connor - 2000 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.

View all 30 references / Add more references