The Free Agent, Luck, and Character

Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 23 (3):173-192 (2021)
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Abstract

Whether we are free agents or not and to what extent depends on factors such as the necessary conditions for free will and our definition of human agency and identity. The present article, apart from possible alternatives and the causality of the agent regarding his actions, addresses the element of inclination as a necessary condition for free will. Therefore, an analysis of these conditions determines that even though in some circumstances the range of alternatives the agent can choose is very limited or the agent chooses an action without having the inclination to choose it; however, this does not make the agent forced; rather, free will has levels and every individual possesses a certain extent of it in different conditions. Just the fact that the ultimate choice is made by the agent himself and has voluntarily performed the act himself ultimately is sufficient for being free. As a result, even though the influence of external factors on human actions cannot be disregarded; however, because the action is ultimately not outside his control, accordingly, there is neither such a thing as a compelled agent and nor are our actions left to luck. The character of the agent that is voluntarily formed through our actions plays a determinant role in our choices and actions due to the epistemic and motivational components they possess.

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Zahra Khazaei
University Of Qom

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