Abilities to do otherwise

Philosophical Studies 172 (11):3017-3035 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper I argue that there are different ways that an agent may be able to do otherwise and that therefore, when free will is understood as requiring that an agent be able to do otherwise, we face the following question: which way of being able to do otherwise is most relevant to free will? I answer this question by first discussing the nature of intrinsic dispositions and abilities, arguing that for each action type there is a spectrum of intrinsic abilities. I suggest that recognising this allows us to articulate two ways in which an intrinsic ability is general (such that there are two kinds of non-general ability). And I argue that the abilities most relevant to free will need to be non-general in both of the ways identified. Along the way I show why these points threaten to undermine Vihvelin’s dispositionalist account of free will.

Similar books and articles

Abilities.John Maier - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Dispositional Abilities.Ann Whittle - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10.
Abilities, Modalities, and Free Will.Bruce Aune - 1963 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 23 (March):397-413.
Why the Ability Hypothesis is Best Forgotten.Sam Coleman - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (2-3):74-97.
Free Will and Indeterminism: Robert Kane’s Libertarianism.Robert Francis Allen - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30:341-355.
Competence and Ability.Eric Vogelstein - 2014 - Bioethics 28 (5):235-244.
Not Passion’s Slave.Nico H. Frijda - 2010 - Emotion Review 2 (1):68-75.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-01-23

Downloads
323 (#34,996)

6 months
29 (#37,594)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

How (Not) to Think About the Sense of ‘Able’ Relevant to Free Will.Simon Kittle - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (10):1289-1307.
On General and Non‐General Abilities.Simon Kittle - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
Robustness and Up-to-Us-Ness.Simon Kittle - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):35-57.
Ability’s Two Dimensions of Robustness.Sophie Kikkert - 2022 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 122 (3):348-357.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

How to Speak of the Colors.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (3):221-263.
Finkish Dispositions.David K. Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
What 'Must' and 'Can' Must and Can Mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
Dispositions and Antidotes.Alexander Bird - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):227-234.

View all 18 references / Add more references