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Timothy O'Connor [60]Timothy E. O'Connor [9]Timothy William O'connor [1]
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Timothy O'Connor
Indiana University, Bloomington
  1. Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will.Timothy O'Connor - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This provocative book refurbishes the traditional account of freedom of will as reasons-guided "agent" causation, situating its account within a general metaphysics. O'Connor's discussion of the general concept of causation and of ontological reductionism v. emergence will specially interest metaphysicians and philosophers of mind.
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  2. Emergent Properties.Timothy O'Connor - 1994 - American Philosophical Quarterly 31 (2):91-104.
    All organised bodies are composed of parts, similar to those composing inorganic nature, and which have even themselves existed in an inorganic state; but the phenomena of life, which result from the juxtaposition of those parts in a certain manner, bear no analogy to any of the effects which would be produced by the action of the component substances considered as mere physical agents. To whatever degree we might imagine our knowledge of the properties of the several ingredients of a (...)
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  3.  32
    Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue.Laura Frances Callahan & Timothy O'Connor (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Is religious faith consistent with being an intellectually virtuous thinker? In seeking to answer this question, one quickly finds others, each of which has been the focus of recent renewed attention by epistemologists: What is it to be an intellectually virtuous thinker? Must all reasonable belief be grounded in public evidence? Under what circumstances is a person rationally justified in believing something on trust, on the testimony of another, or because of the conclusions drawn by an intellectual authority? Can it (...)
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  4.  46
    Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency.Timothy O'Connor - 2008 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    An expansive, yet succinct, analysis of the Philosophy of Religion – from metaphysics through theology. Organized into two sections, the text first examines truths concerning what is possible and what is necessary. These chapters lay the foundation for the book’s second part – the search for a metaphysical framework that permits the possibility of an ultimate explanation that is correct and complete. A cutting-edge scholarly work which engages with the traditional metaphysician’s quest for a true ultimate explanation of the most (...)
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  5. The Metaphysics of Emergence.Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):658-678.
    The objective probability of every physical event is fixed by prior physical events and laws alone. (This thesis is sometimes expressed in terms of explanation: In tracing the causal history of any physical event, one need not advert to any non-physical events or laws. To the extent that there is any explanation available for a physical event, there is a complete explanation available couched entirely in physical vocabulary. We prefer the probability formulation, as it should be acceptable to any physicalist, (...)
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  6.  95
    Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will.Timothy O'Connor (ed.) - 1995 - Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
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  7. Freedom With a Human Face.Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):207-227.
    As good a definition as any of a _philosophical_ conundrum is a problem all of whose possible solutions are unsatisfactory. The problem of understanding the springs of action for morally responsible agents is commonly recognized to be such a problem. The origin, nature, and explanation of freely-willed actions puzzle us today as they did the ancients Greeks, and for much the same reasons. However, one can carry this ‘perennial-puzzle’ sentiment too far. The unsatisfactory nature of philosophical theories is a more (...)
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  8.  87
    Agent-Causal Power.Timothy O'Connor - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    In what follows, I shall presuppose the ecumenical core of the causal powers metaphysics. The argument of this paper concerns what may appear at first to be a wholly unrelated matter, the metaphysics of free will. However, an adequate account of freedom requires, in my judgment, a notion of a distinctive variety of causal power, one which tradition dubs ‘agent-causal power’. I will first develop this notion and clarify its relationship to other notions. I will then respond to a number (...)
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  9. Free Will.Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “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 (...)
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  10.  2
    Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will.Timothy O'connor - 2001 - Mind 110 (438):526-531.
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  11. Emergent Individuals.Timothy O'Connor & Jonathan D. Jacobs - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):540-555.
    We explain the thesis that human mental states are ontologically emergent aspects of a fundamentally biological organism. We then explore the consequences of this thesis for the identity of a human person over time. As these consequences are not obviously independent of one's general ontology of objects and their properties, we consider four such accounts: transcendent universals, kind-Aristotelianism, immanent universals, and tropes. We suggest there are reasons for emergentists to favor the latter two accounts. We then argue that within such (...)
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  12.  89
    Agent Causation in a Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics.Jonathan D. Jacobs & Timothy O'Connor - 2013 - In Sophie C. Gibb & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    Freedom and moral responsibility have one foot in the practical realm of human affairs and the other in the esoteric realm of fundamental metaphysics—or so we believe. This has been denied, especially in the metaphysics-bashing era occupying the first two-thirds or so of the twentieth century, traces of which linger in the present day. But the reasons for this denial seem to us quite implausible. Certainly, the argument for the general bankruptcy of metaphysics has been soundly discredited. Arguments from Strawson (...)
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  13. Causality, Mind, and Free Will.Timothy O'Connor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (s14):105-117.
    One familiar affirmative answer to this question holds that these facts suffice to entail that Descartes' picture of the human mind must be mistaken. On Descartes' view, our mind or soul (the only essential part of ourselves) has no spatial location. Yet it directly interacts with but one physical object, the brain of that body with which it is, 'as it were, intermingled,' so as to 'form one unit.' The radical disparity posited between a nonspatial mind, whose intentional and conscious (...)
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  14. Degrees of Freedom.Timothy O'Connor - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):119 – 125.
    I propose a theory of freedom of choice on which it is a variable quality of individual conscious choices that has several dimensions that admit of degrees, even though - as many theorists have traditionally supposed - it also has as a necessary condition the possession of a capacity that is all or nothing. I argue that the proposed account better fits the phenomenology of ostensibly free actions, as well as empirical findings in the human sciences.
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  15. Agent Causation.Timothy O'Connor - 1995 - In Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 61-79.
    In what follows, I will contend that the commonsense view of ourselves as fundamental causal agents - for which some have used the term “unmoved movers" but which I think might more accurately be expressed as “not wholly moved movers” - is theoretically understandable, internally consistent, and consistent with what we have thus far come to know about the nature and workings of the natural world. In the section that follows, I try to show how the concept of ‘agent’ causation (...)
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  16. Libertarian Views: Dualist and Agent-Causal Theories.Timothy O'Connor - 2002 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
    This essay will canvass recent philosophical accounts of human agency that deploy a notion of “self” (or “agent”) causation. Some of these accounts try to explicate this notion, whereas others only hint at its nature in contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. In these latter theories, the authors’ main argumentative burden is that the apparent fundamental differences between persona and impersonal causal activity strongly suggest mind-body dualism. I begin by noting two distinct, yet not commonly distinguished, philosophical (...)
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  17.  28
    Incarnation and the Multiverse.Timothy O'Connor & Philip Woodward - 2014 - In Klaas Kraay (ed.), God and the Multiverse: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 227-241.
    Timothy O’Connor and Philip Woodward defend a version of a compositional theory, according to which an incarnate deity has two natures, each of which is a distinct component of its being. They then extend this model to permit multiple incarnations. Finally, they consider an objection to this model based on the theological idea that Christ’s work is necessary for ushering in a united community of all divine-image-bearing creatures. In response, they speculate that no such all-encompassing community would be possible, given (...)
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  18. From First Efficient Cause to God: Scotus on the Identification Stage of the Cosmological Argument.Timothy O'Connor - 1995 - In L. Honnefelder, R. Wood & M. Dreyer (eds.), John Duns Scotus: Metaphysics and Ethics. E.J.Brill.
    In this paper, I examine some main threads of the identification stage of Scotus's project in the fourth chapter of De Primo, where he tries to show that a first efficient cause must have the attributes of simplicity, intellect, will, and infinity. Many philosophers are favorably disposed towards one or another argument such as Scotus's (e.g., the cosmological argument from contingency) purporting to show that there is an absolutely first efficient cause. How far can Scotus take us from this starting (...)
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  19. Indeterminism and Free Agency: Three Recent Views.Timothy O'Connor - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):499-26.
    It is a commonplace of philosophy that the notion of free will is a hard nut to crack. A simple, compelling argument can be made to show that behavior for which an agent is morally responsible cannot be the outcome of prior determining causal factors.1 Yet the smug satisfaction with which we incompatibilists are prone to trot out this argument has a tendency to turn to embarrassment when we're asked to explain just how it is that morally responsible action might (...)
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  20. Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency.Timothy O'connor - 2010 - Philosophia Christi 12 (2):265-272.
    Twentieth-century analytic philosophy was dominated by positivist antimetaphysics and neo-Humean deflationary metaphysics, and the nature of explanation was reconceived in order to fit these agendas. Unsurprisingly, the explanatory value of theist was widely discredited. I argue that the long-overdue revival of moralized, broadly neo-Aristotelian metaphysics and an improved perspective on modal knowledge dramatically changes the landscape. In this enriched context, there is no sharp divide between physics and metaphysics, and the natural end of the theoretician’s quest for a unified explanation (...)
     
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  21. Reasons Explanation And Agent Control: In Search Of An Integrated Account.Timothy O'Connor & John Ross Churchill - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1):241-256.
    Many philosophers judge that typical agent-causal accounts of freedom improperly sacrifice the possibility of rational explanation of the action for the sake of securing control, while others judge that the reverse shortcoming plagues typical event causal accounts. (Of course, many philosophers make both these judgments.) After briefly rehearsing the reasons for these verdicts on the two traditional strategies, we undertake an extended examination of Randolph Clarke's recent attempt to meet the challenge by proposing an original, "integrated agent-causal" account of human (...)
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  22.  97
    Is It All Just a Matter of Luck?Timothy O'Connor - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):157 – 161.
    A central argument of Alfred Mele's Free Will and Luck (2006) is that the problem of luck poses essentially the same problem for all the main indeterministic accounts of free will. Consequently, there is no advantage is certain theories (notably, agent-causal theories) in their capacity to respond to the problem of luck. I argue that Mele has not made a persuasive case for these claims.
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  23. Emergent Individuals and the Resurrection.Jonathan D. Jacobs & Timothy O'Connor - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (2):69 - 88.
    We present an original emergent individuals view of human persons, on which persons are substantial biological unities that exemplify metaphysically emergent mental states. We argue that this view allows for a coherent model of identity-preserving resurrection from the dead consistent with orthodox Christian doctrine, one that improves upon alternatives accounts recently proposed by a number of authors. Our model is a variant of the “falling elevator” model advanced by Dean Zimmerman that, unlike Zimmerman’s, does not require a closest continuer account (...)
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  24. Agent-Causal Theories.Timothy O'Connor - 2011 - In Robert Kane (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Free Will, 2nd Rev. Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 309-328.
    This essay will canvass recent philosophical discussion of accounts of human (free) agency that deploy a notion of agent causation . Historically, many accounts have only hinted at the nature of agent causation by way of contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. Likewise, the numerous criticisms of agent causal theories have tended to be highly general, often amounting to no more that the bare assertion that the idea of agent causation is obscure or mysterious. But in the (...)
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  25.  57
    On the Transfer of Necessity.Timothy O'Connor - 1993 - Noûs 27 (2):204-18.
    Over the last several years, a number of philosophers have advanced formal versions of certain traditional arguments for the incompatibility of human freedom with causal determinism and for the incompatibility of human freedom with infallible divine foreknowledge. Common to all of these is some form of a principle governing the transfer of a species of alethic necessity (TPN). More recently, a few clear and compelling counterexamples to TNP (and a variant of it) have begun to surface in the literature. These (...)
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  26.  5
    Emergence in Science and Philosophy.Antonella Corradini & Timothy O'Connor (eds.) - 2010 - Routledge.
    The concept of emergence has seen a significant resurgence in philosophy and the sciences, yet debates regarding emergentist and reductionist visions of the natural world continue to be hampered by imprecision or ambiguity. Emergent phenomena are said to arise out of and be sustained by more basic phenomena, while at the same time exerting a "top-down" control upon those very sustaining processes. To some critics, this has the air of magic, as it seems to suggest a kind of circular causality. (...)
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  27.  29
    Conscious Willing and the Emerging Sciences of Brain and Behavior.Timothy O'Connor - 2009 - In Nancey Murphy, George Ellis, O. ’Connor F. R. & Timothy (eds.), Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. Springer Verlag. pp. 173--186.
    Recent studies within neuroscience and cognitive psychology have explored the place of conscious willing in the generation of purposive action. Some have argued that certain findings indicate that the commonsensical view that we control many of our actions through conscious willing is largely or wholly illusory. I rebut such arguments, contending that they typically rest on a conflation of distinct phenomena. Nevertheless, I also suggest that traditional philosophical accounts of the will need to be revised: a raft of studies indicate (...)
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  28.  59
    The Impossibility of Middle Knowledge.Timothy O'Connor - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 66 (2):139 - 166.
    A good deal of attention has been given in recent philosophy of religion to the question of whether we can sensibly attribute to God a form of knowledge which the 16th-century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina termed "middle knowledge". Interest in the doctrine has been spurred by a recognition of its intimate connection to certain conceptions of providence, prophecy, and response to petitionary prayer. According to defenders of the doctrine, which I will call "Molinism", the objects of middle knowledge are (...)
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  29. Dualist and Agent-Causal Theories.Timothy O'Connor - 2001 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.
    I Introduction This essay will canvass recent philosophical accounts of human agency that deploy a notion of 'self' (or 'agent') causation. Some of these accounts try to explicate this notion, whereas others only hint at its nature by way of contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. In these latter theories, the authors' main argumentative burden is that the apparent fundamental differences between personal and impersonal causal activity strongly suggest mind-body dualism. I begin by noting two distinct, yet (...)
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  30. Pastoral Counsel for the Anxious Naturalist: Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves.Timothy O'connor - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (4):436-448.
    The church-going philosopher who settles in for an extended reading of Dan Dennett’s new book will find himself in a familiar circumstance. What one confronts is a lot more like an extended sermon than it is a typical philosophical treatise. And, whatever one’s Sunday morning habits, one can’t help but admire the preaching skills artfully displayed. The delivery is powerful and assured; the argument is streamlined, peppered with evocative and delightful illustrations that will be recalled long after the particular points (...)
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  31. Theism and the Scope of Contingency.Timothy O'Connor - 2008 - Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Religion 1:134-149.
    According to classical theism, contingent beings find the ultimate explanation for their existence in a maximally perfect, necessary being who transcends the natural world and wills its acts in accordance with reasons. I contend that if this thesis is true, it is likely that contingent reality is vastly greater than what current scientific theory or even speculation fancies. After considering the implications of this contention for the extent of divine freedom, I go on to discuss its relevance to the problem (...)
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  32.  41
    Thomas Reid on Free Agency.Timothy O'Connor - 1994 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 32 (4):605-622.
    Reid takes it to be part of our commonsense view of ourselves that "we" -- "qua" enduring substances, not merely "qua" subjects of efficacious mental states -- are often the immediate causes of our own volitions. Only if this conviction is veridical, Reid thinks, may we be properly held to be responsible for our actions (indeed, may we truly be said to "act" at all). This paper offers an interpretation of Reid's account of such agency (taking account of Rowe's recent (...)
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  33.  58
    Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism : The Argument From Mental Causation.Timothy O'Connor & John Ross Churchil - 2009 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Throughout the 1990s, Jaegwon Kim developed a line of argument that what purport to be nonreductive forms of physicalism are ultimately untenable, since they cannot accommodate the causal efficacy of mental states. We argue that, while the argument needs some tweaking, its basic thrust is sound. In what follows, we lay out our preferred version of the argument and highlight its essential dependence on a causal-powers metaphysic, a dependence that Kim does not acknowledge in his official presentations of the argument. (...)
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  34.  17
    Probability and Freedom.Timothy O'Connor - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):289-293.
    I have argued elsewhere that human free action is governed by objective probabilities. This view, I suggested, is strongly supported by our experience of motivated decision-making and by our having emerged from probabilistically-governed physical causes. Leigh Vicens criticizes these arguments. She also argues that an account of human freedom as probabilisticallyunstructured indeterminacy is less vulnerable to challenges to the plausibility of libertarian views of freedom. In this article, I explain why I am not persuaded by Vicens’s arguments.
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  35.  4
    Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Timothy O'Connor - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (2):314-317.
    Book review of Peter van Inwagen's Metaphysics.
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  36. Theodicies and Human Nature: Dostoevsky on the Saint as Witness.Timothy O'Connor - 2009 - In Kevin Timpe (ed.), Metaphysics and God. Routledge.
    Fyodor Dostoevsky understood this practical dimension well, and it is embodied in his literary treatment of the problem of evil in his masterpiece, The Brothers' Karamazov.1 In what follows, I will interpret the powerful existential repudiation of Christianity based on the facts of human suffering voiced by the antagonist, Ivan. After noting some similarities of Ivan’s case to that given by the French existentialist philosopher Albert Camus in his novel, The Plague, I then turn to Dostoevsky’s response, expressed through the (...)
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  37.  40
    Reviews. [REVIEW]Kurt Marko, R. C. Elwood, Fred Seddon, John D. Windhausen, Timothy E. O'Connor & Robert C. Williams - 1989 - Studies in East European Thought 37 (4):227-229.
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  38.  54
    Scotus on the Existence of a First Efficient Cause.Timothy O'Connor - 1993 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 33 (1):17 - 32.
    A lengthy argument for the existence of a being possessing most of the attributes ascribed to God in traditional philosophical theology is set forth by John Duns Scotus in the final two chapters of his Tractatus De Primo Principio.1 In 3.1-19, Scotus tries to establish the core of his proof, viz., that "an absolutely first effective is actually existent." It is an ingenious blend of elements that figure in standard versions of the cosmological and ontological arguments. However, while the reader (...)
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  39. Groundwork for an Emergentist Account of the Mental.Timothy O'Connor - 2003 - Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design 2:1-14.
    As striking as conscious experience, thought, and deliberate action are, their irreducibility to physical processes within their subjects is hotly debated. I shall ignore these debates entirely, as my purpose in this essay is constructive. Assuming that these mental qualities and processes are indeed irreducible to impersonal, non-purposive physical phenomena, I want to propose the very general form a non-reductive explanatory account of their underpinnings and dynamics should take. A suggestive label for my proposal is ontological emergence.
     
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  40.  22
    Probability and Freedom: A Reply to Vicens.Timothy O'Connor - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):289-293.
    I have argued elsewhere that human free action is governed by objective probabilities. This view, I suggested, is strongly supported by our experience of motivated decision-making and by our having emerged from probabilistically-governed physical causes. Leigh Vicens (2016) criticizes these arguments. She also argues that an account of human freedom as probabilistically-unstructured indeterminacy is less vulnerable to challenges to the plausibility of libertarian views of freedom. In this article, I explain why I am not persuaded by Vicens’s arguments.
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  41.  73
    A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: Plantinga on the Self-Defeat of Evolutionary Naturalism.Timothy O'Connor - 2001 - In James Beilby (ed.), Naturalism Defeated? Essays on Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. Cornell.
    This paper raises objections to Alvin Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism.
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  42.  23
    The Efficacy of Reasons: A Reply to Hendrickson.Timothy O'Connor - 2002 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):135-137.
    Noel Hendrickson, in “Against an Agent-Causal Theory of Action” (this volume), carefully and intelligently probes aspects of the agent-causal account of free will I present in Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will. The central target of his criticism is my contention that agent-causal events, by their very nature, cannot be caused. Here, I respond to his argument on this point.
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  43.  4
    Review of Timothy Cleveland, Trying Without Willing. [REVIEW]Timothy O'Connor - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):242-244.
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  44.  23
    Reviews. [REVIEW]Timothy E. O'Connor, R. M. Davison, John Riser, Robert C. Williams, N. G. O. Pereira, John W. Murphy & Irving H. Anellis - 1993 - Studies in East European Thought 45 (3):59-67.
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  45.  37
    Reviews. [REVIEW]Frederick J. Adelmann, Tom Rockmore & Timothy E. O'Connor - 1991 - Studies in East European Thought 41 (3):233-242.
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  46.  44
    Understanding Free Will: Might We Double-Think? [REVIEW]Timothy O'Connor - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):222-229.
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  47.  35
    Reviews. [REVIEW]Timothy E. O'Connor, Julien S. Murphy, Irving H. Anellis, Pavel Kovaly, Nigel Gibson, N. G. O. Pereira, Fred Seddon, Oliva Blanchette & Friedrich Rapp - 1996 - Studies in East European Thought 48 (2-4):135-137.
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  48.  35
    Review of William Rowe, Can God Be Free?[REVIEW]Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (4).
    Consider the idea of God in classical philosophical theology. God is a personal being perfect in every way: absolutely independent of everything, such that nothing exists apart from God's willing it to be so; unlimited in power and knowledge; perfectly blissful, lacking in nothing needed or desired; morally perfect. If such a being were to create, on what basis would He choose? Let us assume (as perfect being theologians generally do) that there is an objective, degreed property of intrinsic goodness, (...)
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  49.  7
    The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge.Timothy O'Connor & Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (1):139.
    Review of Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski, The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge.
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    Reviews. [REVIEW]Timothy E. O'Connor, John W. Murphy, John Riser, Thomas Nemeth & Robert C. Williams - 1995 - Studies in East European Thought 47 (1-2):93-95.
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