History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (2):159-176 (2012)

Authors
Kenneth L. Pearce
Trinity College, Dublin
Abstract
According to Thomas Reid, an agent cannot be free unless she has the power to do otherwise. This claim is usually interpreted as a version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. Against this interpretation, I argue that Reid is committed to the seemingly paradoxical position that an agent may have the power to do otherwise despite the fact that it is impossible that she do otherwise. Reid's claim about the power to do otherwise does not, therefore, entail the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. When it is an agent's character that deprives her of alternate possibilities, she is not thereby deprived of either power or freedom, and this is true even if the agent was not free or active in the formation of her character.
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References found in this work BETA

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Tom L. Beauchamp (ed.) - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Omnipotence Again.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (1):26-47.
Explaining Our Choices: Reid on Motives, Character and Effort.Esther Kroeker - 2007 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 5 (2):187-212.
12 Reid's Philosophy of Religion.Dale Tuggy - 2004 - In Terence Cuneo Rene van Woudenberg (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Reid. Cambridge University Press. pp. 289.

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Citations of this work BETA

William King on Free Will.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.

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