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  1. The Demand for Contrastive Explanations.Nadine Elzein - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1325-1339.
    A “contrastive explanation” explains not only why some event A occurred, but why A occurred as opposed to some alternative event B. Some philosophers argue that agents could only be morally responsible for their choices if those choices have contrastive explanations, since they would otherwise be “luck infested”. Assuming that contrastive explanations cannot be offered for causally undetermined events, this requirement entails that no one could be held responsible for a causally undetermined choice. Such arguments challenge incompatibilism, since they entail (...)
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  • The Obligation Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):37-61.
    I motivate a dilemma to show that nothing can be obligatory for anyone regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true. The deterministic horn, to which prime attention is directed, exploits the thesis that obligation requires freedom to do otherwise. Since determinism precludes such freedom, it precludes obligation too. The indeterministic horn allows for freedom to do otherwise but assumes the burden of addressing whether indeterministically caused choices or actions are too much of a matter of luck to be obligatory (...)
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  • Event-Causal Libertarianism, Functional Reduction, and the Disappearing Agent Argument.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):413-432.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s freely bringing about a choice is reducible to states and events involving him bringing about the choice. Agent-causal libertarians demur, arguing that free will requires that the agent be irreducibly causally involved. Derk Pereboom and Meghan Griffith have defended agent-causal libertarianism on this score, arguing that since on event-causal libertarianism an agent’s contribution to his choice is exhausted by the causal role of states and events involving him, and since these states and events leave (...)
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  • Farewell to the Luck (and Mind) Argument.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):199-230.
    In this paper I seek to defend libertarianism about free will and moral responsibility against two well-known arguments: the luck argument and the Mind argument. Both of these arguments purport to show that indeterminism is incompatible with the degree of control necessary for free will and moral responsibility. I begin the discussion by elaborating these arguments, clarifying important features of my preferred version of libertarianism—features that will be central to an adequate response to the arguments—and showing why a strategy of (...)
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  • The Main Problem with Usc Libertarianism.Levy Ken - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (2):107-127.
    Libertarians like Robert Kane believe that indeterminism is necessary for free will. They think this in part because they hold both that my being the ultimate cause of at least part of myself is necessary for free will and that indeterminism is necessary for this "ultimate self-causation". But seductive and intuitive as this "USC Libertarianism" may sound, it is untenable. In the end, no metaphysically coherent conception of ultimate self-causation is available. So the basic intuition motivating the USC Libertarian is (...)
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  • What is the 'Cause' in Causal Decision Theory?Christopher Hitchcock - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):129-146.
    A simple counterfactual theory of causation fails because of problems with cases of preemption. This might lead us to expect that preemption will raise problems for counterfactual theories of other concepts that have a causal dimension. Indeed, examples are easy to find. But there is one case where we do not find this. Several versions of causal decision theory are formulated using counterfactuals. This might lead us to expect that these theories will yield the wrong recommendations in cases of preemption. (...)
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  • Using Structure to Understand Justice and Care as Different Worlds.Alexandra Bradner - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):111-122.
    When read as a theory that is supposed to mirror, represent or fit some collection of historical data, critics argue that Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shift in Structure of Scientific Revolutions fails by cherry-picking and underdetermination. When read as the ground for a socio-epistemological conception of rationality, critics argue that Kuhn’s theory fails by either the naturalistic fallacy or underarticulation. This paper suggests that we need not view Structure as a historian’s attempt to accurately depict scientific theory change or a (...)
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  • Cross-World Luck at the Time of Decision is a Problem for Compatibilists as Well.Mirja Pérez de Calleja - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):112-125.
    (2014). Cross-world luck at the time of decision is a problem for compatibilists as well. Philosophical Explorations: Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 112-125. doi: 10.1080/13869795.2014.912673.
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  • Arguments for Incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature: very roughly, it is the claim that everything that happens is determined by antecedent conditions together with the natural laws. Incompatibilism is a philosophical thesis about the relevance of determinism to free will: that the truth of determinism rules out the existence of free will. The incompatibilist believes that if determinism turned out to be true, it would also be true that we don't have, and have never had, free will. The (...)
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  • Dispositions, Abilities to Act, and Free Will: The New Dispositionalism.Randolph Clarke - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):323-351.
    This paper examines recent attempts to revive a classic compatibilist position on free will, according to which having an ability to perform a certain action is having a certain disposition. Since having unmanifested dispositions is compatible with determinism, having unexercised abilities to act, it is held, is likewise compatible. Here it is argued that although there is a kind of capacity to act possession of which is a matter of having a disposition, the new dispositionalism leaves unresolved the main points (...)
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  • Metaphysical Illusions.J. J. C. Smart - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):167 – 175.
    The paper begins by considering David Armstrong's beautiful paper 'The Headless Woman Illusion and the Defence of Materialism', which conjectures how we get the illusion that there are non-physical qualia. There are discussions of other metaphysical illusions, that there is a passage of time, that we have libertarian free will, and that consciousness is ineffable (which last also relates to Armstrong), and of their possible explanations. Moral: avoid appeal to so called intuition or phenomenology.
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  • The Problem of Enhanced Control.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):687 - 706.
    A crucial question for libertarians about free will and moral responsibility concerns how their accounts secure more control than compatibilism. This problem is particularly exasperating for event-causal libertarianism, as it seems that the only difference between these accounts and compatibilism is that the former require indeterminism. But how can indeterminism, a mere negative condition, enhance control? This worry has led many to conclude that the only viable form of libertarianism is agent-causal libertarianism. In this paper I show that this conclusion (...)
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  • Willensfreiheit.Geert Keil - 2017 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  • Explaining Free Will.Michael Elstob - 2018 - Chesham, UK: C. M. Elstob. Printed and distributed by Amazon.
    A new approach using independence indeterminism, a novel naturalistic metaphysics for an open creative universe. -/- The problem of free will - what exactly it is, whether it is required for us to be morally responsible for our actions, and whether any natural being can possibly possess it - has remained unresolved for over 2000 years. -/- Now, starting from the very widely held belief that most change takes place in a way that is independent of how most other change (...)
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  • Making a Difference.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - Social Theory and Practice 37 (1):81-94.
    I suggest that Fischer concedes too much to the consequence argument when he grants that we may not make a difference. I provide a broad sketch of (my take on) the dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists, while suggesting that some of the discussion may have confused the freedom required for moral responsibility with a very different notion of autonomy. I introduce that less usual notion of autonomy and suggest that those who are autonomous, in this sense, do make a difference.
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  • The Conception of a Person as a Series of Mental Events.Scott Campbell - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):339–358.
    It is argued that those who accept the psychological criterion of personal identity, such as Parfit and Shoemaker, should accept what I call the 'series' view of a person, according to which a person is a unified aggregate of mental events and states. As well as defending this view against objections, I argue that it allows the psychological theorist to avoid the two lives objection which the 'animalist' theorists have raised against it, an objection which causes great difficulties for the (...)
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  • Mitigating Soft Compatibilism.Justin A. Capes - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):640-663.
    According to what I will call mitigating soft compatibilism, although the truth of determinism is consistent with free action and moral responsibility, determinism nevertheless mitigates praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. In this paper, I take a closer look at this novel brand of compatibilism. My principal aim in doing so is to further explicate the view and to explore ways in which it can be deployed in defense of the more general compatibilist thesis. I also discuss one of the most pressing challenges (...)
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  • Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy.Bob Doyle - 2011 - Cambridge, MA, USA: I-Phi Press.
    A sourcebook/textbook on the problem of free will and determinism. Contains a history of the free will problem, a taxonomy of current free will positions, the standard argument against free will, the physics, biology, and neuroscience of free will, the most plausible and practical solution of the problem, and reviews of the work of the leading determinist Ted Honderich, the leading libertarian Robert Kane, the well-known compatibilist Daniel Dennett, and the determinism-agnostic Alfred Mele.
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  • Taking Hobart Seriously.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (4):1407-1426.
    Hobart’s classic 1934 paper “Free Will as Involving Determination and Inconceivable Without It” has been widely cited as an example of an argument for the view that free will requires the truth of determinism. In this paper, I argue that this reading of Hobart’s paper is mistaken and that we should instead read Hobart as arguing that an agent exercises their free will only if the proximate causes of the agent’s action deterministically cause their action. After arguing that Hobart’s view, (...)
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  • Is Middle Knowledge Possible? Almost.Evan Fales - 2011 - Sophia 50 (1):1-9.
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  • Free Will, Control, and the Possibility to Do Otherwise From a Causal Modeler’s Perspective.Alexander Gebharter, Maria Sekatskaya & Gerhard Schurz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent's ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism. We argue that (...)
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  • Free Will for the Long Run.Benjamin I. Huff - 2021 - The Monist 104 (3):352-365.
    For beings that have a beginning in time, free will seems impossible, because our choices seem to be a result of past events over which we had no control. Latter-day Saint theology offers what seems a simple solution: the idea that human beings have always existed in the form of spirits or “intelligences.” While this idea solves some key puzzles, contemplating an infinite past also brings the recognition that causal autonomy is not enough for freedom. A crucial feature of humanity (...)
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  • Reflection and Responsibility.Pamela Hieronymi - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (1):3-41.
    A common line of thought claims that we are responsible for ourselves and our actions, while less sophisticated creatures are not, because we are, and they are not, self-aware. Our self-awareness is thought to provide us with a kind of control over ourselves that they lack: we can reflect upon ourselves, upon our thoughts and actions, and so ensure that they are as we would have them to be. Thus, our capacity for reflection provides us with the control over ourselves (...)
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  • Against Libertarianism.Alicia Finch - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):475-493.
    The so-called Mind argument aims at the conclusion that agents act freely only if determinism is true. The soundness of this argument entails the falsity of libertarianism, the two-part thesis that agents act freely, and free action and determinism are incompatible. In this paper, I offer a new formulation of the Mind argument. I argue that it is true by definition that if an agent acts freely, either (i) nothing nomologically grounds an agent’s acting freely, or (ii) the consequence argument (...)
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  • Agent-Causation, Explanation, and Akrasia: A Reply to Levy’s Hard Luck. [REVIEW]Christopher Evan Franklin - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (4):753-770.
    I offer a brief review of, and critical response to, Neil Levy’s fascinating recent book Hard Luck, where he argues that no one is ever free or morally responsible not because of determinism or indeterminism, but because of luck. Two of Levy’s central arguments in defending his free will nihilism concern the nature and role of explanation in a theory of moral responsibility and the nature of akrasia. With respect to explanation, Levy argues that an adequate theory of moral responsibility (...)
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  • Free Will and Mystery: Looking Past the Mind Argument.Seth Shabo - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):291-307.
    Among challenges to libertarians, the _Mind_ Argument has loomed large. Believing that this challenge cannot be met, Peter van Inwagen, a libertarian, concludes that free will is a mystery. Recently, the _Mind_ Argument has drawn a number of criticisms. Here I seek to add to its woes. Quite apart from its other problems, I argue, the _Mind_ Argument does a poor job of isolating the important concern for libertarians that it raises. Once this concern has been clarified, however, another argument (...)
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  • The Neuroscientific Study of Free Will: A Diagnosis of the Controversy.Markus E. Schlosser - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):245-262.
    Benjamin Libet’s work paved the way for the neuroscientific study of free will. Other scientists have praised this research as groundbreaking. In philosophy, the reception has been more negative, often even dismissive. First, I will propose a diagnosis of this striking discrepancy. I will suggest that the experiments seem irrelevant, from the perspective of philosophy, due to the way in which they operationalize free will. In particular, I will argue that this operational definition does not capture free will properly and (...)
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  • A Pilgrimage Through John Martin Fischer’s Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value.Hannah Tierney - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (1):179-196.
    John Martin Fischer’s most recent collection of essays, Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value, is both incredibly wide-ranging and impressively detailed. Fischer manages to cover a staggering amount of ground in the free will debate, while also providing insightful and articulate analyses of many of the positions defended in the field. In this collection, Fischer focuses on the relationship between free will and moral responsibility. In the first section of his book, Fischer defends Frankfurt cases as an important (...)
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  • A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will.Mark Balaguer - 2002 - Noûs 36 (3):379-406.
    Let libertarianism be the view that humans are capable of making decisions that are simultaneously undetermined and appropriately non-random. It’s often argued that this view is incoherent because indeterminacy entails randomness (of some appropriate kind). I argue here that the truth is just the opposite: the right kind of indeterminacy in our decisions actually entails appropriate non-randomness, so that libertarianism is coherent, and the question of whether it’s true reduces to the wide-open empirical question of whether certain of our decisions (...)
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  • Adversus Homo Economicus: Critique of Lester’s Account of Instrumental Rationality.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    In Chapter 2 of Escape from Leviathan, Jan Lester defends two hypotheses: that instrumental rationality requires agents to maximise the satisfaction of their wants and that all agents actually meet this requirement. In addition, he argues that all agents are self-interested (though not necessarily egoistic) and he offers an account of categorical moral desires which entails that no agent ever does what he genuinely feels to be morally wrong. I show that Lester’s two hypotheses are false because they cannot accommodate (...)
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  • Hume on Liberty and Necessity.George Botterill - 2002 - In Peter Millican (ed.), Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry. Clarendon Press.
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  • Freedom and Experience: Self-Determination Without Illusions.Magill Kevin - 1997 - London: author open access, originally MacMillan.
    Most of us take it for granted that we are free agents: that we can sometimes act so as to shape our own lives and those of others, that we have choices about how to do so and that we are responsible for what we do. But are we really justified in believing this? For centuries philosophers have argued about whether free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism or natural causation, and they seem no closer to agreeing about (...)
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  • A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will.Mark Balaguer - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):379-406.
    Let libertarianism be the view that humans are capable of making decisions that are simultaneously undetermined and appropriately non-random. It’s often argued that this view is incoherent because indeterminacy entails randomness (of some appropriate kind). I argue here that the truth is just the opposite: the right kind of indeterminacy in our decisions actually entails appropriate non-randomness, so that libertarianism is coherent, and the question of whether it’s true reduces to the wide-open empirical question of whether certain of our decisions (...)
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  • Free Will, Determinism, and Epiphenomenalism.Mark Balaguer - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    This paper provides articulates a non-epiphenomenal, libertarian kind of free will—a kind of free will that’s incompatible with both determinism and epiphenomenalism—and responds to scientific arguments against the existence of this sort of freedom. In other words, the paper argues that we don’t have any good empirical scientific reason to believe that human beings don’t possess a non-epiphenomenal, libertarian sort of free will.
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  • Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 142-57.
    Examines the relevance of empirical studies of responsibility judgments for traditional philosophical concerns about free will and moral responsibility. We argue that experimental philosophy is relevant to the traditional debates, but that setting up experiments and interpreting data in just the right way is no less difficult than negotiating traditional philosophical arguments. Both routes are valuable, but so far neither promises a way to secure significant agreement among the competing parties. To illustrate, we focus on three sorts of issues. For (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Freedom.Bernard Berofsky - 1977 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 4 (2):161-186.
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  • Free Will, Self‐Creation, and the Paradox of Moral Luck.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):224-256.
    How is the problem of free will related to the problem of moral luck? In this essay, I answer that question and outline a new solution to the paradox of moral luck, the source-paradox solution. This solution both explains why the paradox arises and why moral luck does not exist. To make my case, I highlight a few key connections between the paradox of moral luck and two related problems, namely the problem of free will and determinism and the paradox (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility.Andrew Eshleman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    When a person performs or fails to perform a morally significant action, we sometimes think that a particular kind of response is warranted. Praise and blame are perhaps the most obvious forms this reaction might take. For example, one who encounters a car accident may be regarded as worthy of praise for having saved a child from inside the burning car, or alternatively, one may be regarded as worthy of blame for not having used one's mobile phone to call for (...)
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  • Rescuing Responsibility – and Freedom. A Compatibilist Treatment.Curran F. Douglass - forthcoming - Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences.
    Curran F. Douglass ABSTRACT: This paper confronts two questions: How is it possible to be free if causal determinism is true?; and relatedly, How then is the practice of holding persons responsible for their actions to be justified? On offer here is a compatibilist account of freedom, tying it to control; the relation – argued ….
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  • Chance or Agency? A Response to “Divine Providence and Chance in the World”.Peter Forrest - 2020 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 68 (3):111-125.
    Przypadek czy sprawczość? Odpowiedź na „Divine Providence and Chance in the World” Dariusz Łukasiewicz wyróżnia sześć pojęć przypadku, spośród których jedne są spójne z ludzką wolnością rozumianą po libertariańsku, a inne nie. W tym eseju argumentuję na dwa sposoby, że teiści powinni odrzucić przypadek ontologiczny i odwołać się zamiast tego do nieredukowalnej sprawczości w odniesieniu do zdarzeń, które nie są opatrznościowo wyznaczone przez Boga. Moje argumenty zależą od jednoznacznego rozumienia twierdzeń, że Bóg jest kochającym sprawcą oraz że istoty ludzkie, w (...)
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  • On Fundamental Responsibility.Anna‐Sara Malmgren - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):198-213.
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  • Logical Adaptationism.Ron Amundson - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (3):505.
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  • Unprincipled Ethics.Gerald Dworkin - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):224-239.
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  • The Two-Stage Solution to the Problem of Free Will.Robert O. Doyle - 2013 - In Antoine Suarez Peter Adams (ed.), Is Science Compatible with Free Will? New York, NY, USA: Springer. pp. 235-254.
    Random noise in the neurobiology of animals allows for the generation of alternative possibilities for action. In lower animals, this shows up as behavioral freedom. Animals are not causally predetermined by prior events going back in a causal chain to the origin of the universe. In higher animals, randomness can be consciously invoked to generate surprising new behaviors. In humans, creative new ideas can be critically evaluated and deliberated. On reflection, options can be rejected and sent back for “second thoughts” (...)
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  • Hobartian Voluntarism and Epistemic Deontologism.Andrei Buckareff - 2006 - Disputatio 2 (21):1 - 17.
    Mark Heller has recently offered a proposal in defense of a fairly strong version of doxastic voluntarism. Heller looks to the compatibilist theory of free will proposed by R.E. Hobart in the first half of the twentieth century for an account of doxastic control. Heller’s defense of Hobartian Voluntarism is motivated by an appeal to epistemic deontologism. In this paper I argue that Heller’s defense of a version of strong or direct doxastic voluntarism ultimately fails. I finally argue that the (...)
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  • Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - 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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  • An Unconnected Heap of Duties?David McNaughton - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185):433-447.
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  • Ultimate Responsibility and Dumb Luck*: ALFRED R. MELE.Alfred R. Mele - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (2):274-293.
    My topic lies on conceptual terrain that is quite familiar to philosophers. For others, a bit of background may be in order. In light of what has filtered down from quantum mechanics, few philosophers today believe that the universe is causally deterministic. That is, to use Peter van Inwagen's succinct definition of “determinism,” few philosophers believe that “there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.” Even so, partly for obvious historical reasons, philosophers continue to argue about whether free (...)
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  • Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    In this thesis, I will defend a new kind of compatibilist account of free action, indirect conscious control compatibilism (or indirect compatibilism for short), and argue that some of our actions are free according to it. My argument has three components, and involves the development of a brand new tool for experimental philosophy, and the use of cognitive neuroscience. The first component of the argument shows that compatibilism (of some kind) is a conceptual truth. Contrary to the current orthodoxy in (...)
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  • A Relational Theory of Moral Responsibility.Zsolt Ziegler - unknown
    This paper introduces a new theory of moral responsibility that does not rely on any concept of human control. Since an understanding of determinism shapes the possible set of views one can take regarding control, and there is no account of control that could be held simultaneously by both compatibilists and libertarians, the “relational theory of responsibility” is meant to create a common ground between compatibilism and libertarianism which are held to be mutually exclusive. Since the relational account of responsibility (...)
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