The Problem of Radical Freedom

In Anna Marmodoro, Christopher Austin & Andrea Roselli (eds.), Powers, Time and Free Will. Springer (forthcoming)
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Whether or not we are able to do x is on many philosophical accounts of our moral practice relevant for whether we are responsible for not doing x or for being excusable for not having done x. In this paper I will examine how such accounts are affected by whether a Humean or non-Humean account of laws is presupposed. More particularly, I will argue that (on one interpretation) Humean conceptions of laws, while able to avoid the consequence argument, run into what might be called “the problem of radical freedom”: Humean laws fail to constrain what we can do. By contrast, non-Humean laws (and Humean laws on a second interpretation) avoid the problem of radical freedom but have no easy way out of the consequence argument.
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Archival date: 2021-09-07
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