Authors
Galen Strawson
University of Texas at Austin
Abstract
This article begins with some brief reflexions on the definition of determinism (II), on the notion of the subject of experience (III), and on the relation between conscious experience and brain events (IV). The main discussion (V?XIII) focuses on the traditional view, endorsed by Honderich in his book A Theory of Determinism, that the truth of determinism poses some special threat to our ordinary conception of ourselves as morally responsible free agents (and also to our ?life?hopes'). It is argued that this is half right: the truth of determinism does indeed threaten certain vital parts of our ordinary conception of ourselves as morally responsible free agents. The trouble is that the falsity of determinism does not diminish the threat in any useful way. The old, natural, and recurrent mistake is to think that we would really be better off, so far as free will and moral responsibility (and our ?life?hopes') were concerned, if determinism were false. It is argued that there is no important sense in which this is true, and that the question of whether determinism is true or false is therefore of no real importance, so far as the free will debate is concerned
Keywords Consciousness  Determinism  Free Will  Metaphysics  Honderich, T
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DOI 10.1080/00201748908602175
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Philosophical Papers.J. L. Austin - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?Colin McGinn - 1989 - Mind 98 (July):349-66.

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Citations of this work BETA

Free Will, Self‐Creation, and the Paradox of Moral Luck.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):224-256.
On an Argument for the Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.Randolph Clarke - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):13-24.
Mental Ballistics Or The Involuntariness Of Spontaneity.Gale Strawson - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):227-256.
XI-Mental Ballistics or The Involuntariness of Spontaneity.Galen Strawson - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):227-256.
Education and the Free Will Problem: A Spinozist Contribution.Johan Dahlbeck - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (4):725-743.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
How Free Are You? The Determinism Problem.Ted Honderich - 2002 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), Philosophical Quarterly. Oxford University Press. pp. 249.
Arguments for Incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Determinism, Randomness, and Value.Noa Latham - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1-2):153-167.
Free Will and Determinism.Bruce Bassoff - 1964 - Journal of Existentialism 4:259-262.

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