Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will

New York: Oxford University Press (1995)
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Abstract

Many philosophers are persuaded by familiar arguments that free will is incompatible with causal determinism. Yet, notoriously, past attempts to articulate how the right type of indeterminism might secure the capacity for autonomous action have generally been regarded as either demonstrably inadequate or irremediably obscure. This volume gathers together the most significant recent discussions concerning the prospects for devising a satisfactory indeterministic account of freedom of action. These essays give greater precision to traditional formulations of the problems associated with indeterministic accounts and to the range of theoretical avenues for pursuing resolutions. The first four essays set out different challenges (from both compatibilists and those skeptical of the possibility of free will) to the adequacy of standard indeterministic theories. The next seven essays meet one or more of these challenges. Each of the fundamental types of approach--simple indeterminism, causal indeterminism, and agent causation--is represented in these novel and sophisticated proposals. The collection finishes with two essays that debate whether compatibilism entails that freedom of choice is a comparatively rare phenomenon within an individual's life. Eloquently presenting some of the most compelling and accessible arguments surrounding this central philosophical issue, Agents, Causes, and Events makes a valuable contribution to courses in free will/action theory and metaphysics.

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Timothy O'Connor
Indiana University, Bloomington

Citations of this work

The Trouble with Tracing.Manuel Vargas - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):269-291.
Personal autonomy.Sarah Buss - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Belief control and intentionality.Matthias Steup - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):145-163.

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