Free will

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2005)
Authors
Timothy O'Connor
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
“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 closely connected to the concept of moral responsibility. Acting with free will, on such views, is just to satisfy the metaphysical requirement on being responsible for one's action. (Clearly, there will also be epistemic conditions on responsibility as well, such as being aware—or failing that, being culpably unaware—of relevant alternatives to one's action and of the alternatives' moral significance.) But the significance of free will is not exhausted by its connection to moral responsibility. Free will also appears to be a condition on desert for one's accomplishments (why sustained effort and creative work are praiseworthy); on the autonomy and dignity of persons; and on the value we accord to love and friendship. (See Kane 1996, 81ff. and Clarke 2003, Ch.1.).
Keywords Action  Cause  Determinism  Event  Fatalism  Free Will  Happening  Libertarianism  Metaphysics  Predictability  Campbell, C  Haldane, J
Categories (categorize this paper)
Call number BJ1461.O25
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,484
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Belief Control and Intentionality.Matthias Steup - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):145-163.
Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
A Reason To Be Free.Giulio Mecacci & Pim Haselager - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):327-334.
Mistaking Randomness for Free Will.Jeffrey P. Ebert & Daniel M. Wegner - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):965-971.
Free Will and Mental Disorder: Exploring the Relationship.Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):429-443.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Libertarianism, Luck, and Action Explanation.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30:321-340.
Free Will.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Free Will and Responsibilty.Jennifer Trusted - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Illusion of Freedom Evolves.Tamler Sommers - 2007 - In Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual volition and social context. MIT Press. pp. 61.
The Revisionist Turn: A Brief History of Recent Work on Free Will.Manuel Vargas - 2010 - In Jesus Aguilar, Andrei Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Action. Palgrave.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
128 ( #45,898 of 2,267,103 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #29,657 of 2,267,103 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature