Free Will and Action Explanation: A Non-Causal, Compatibilist Account

Oxford University Press UK (2016)
Abstract
Do we have free will and moral responsibility? Is free will compatible with determinism? Scott Sehon argues that we can make progress on these questions by focusing on an underlying issue: the nature of action explanation. When a person acts, or does something on purpose, we explain the behavior by citing the agent's reasons. The dominant view in philosophy of mind has been to construe such explanations as a species of causal explanation. Sehon proposes and defends a non-causal account of action and agency, according to which reason explanation of human behavior is teleological rather than causal, before applying the teleological account of action to free will and responsibility. He argues that the non-causal compatibilist account works well in practice: it is in accord with our clear intuitions about cases, and it both explains and provides guidance in the cases where our intuitions are murkier.
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