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5.4b.3. Free Will Skepticism (Free Will Skepticism on PhilPapers)

Beckermann, Ansgar (2005). Free will in a natural order of the world. In Christian Nimtz & Ansgar Beckermann (eds.), Philosophie Und/Als Wissenschaft. Mentis.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Bok, Hilary (2001). Review of Metaphilosophy and free will by Richard Double. Mind 110 (438):452-455.   (Google)
Bradley, M. C. (1974). Kenny on hard determinism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 52 (December):202-211.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Burns, Jean E. (1999). Volition and physical laws. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (10):27-47.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Cohen, Daniel (2006). Openness, accidentality and responsibility. Philosophical Studies 127 (3).   (Google)
Abstract:   In this paper, I present a novel argument for scepticism about moral responsibility. Unlike traditional arguments, this argument doesn’t depend on contingent empirical claims about the truth or falsity of causal determinism. Rather, it is argued that the conceptual conditions of responsibility are jointly incompatible. In short, when an agent is responsible for an action, it must be true both that the action was non-accidental, and that it was open to the agent not to perform that action. However, as I argue, an action is only non-accidental in those cases where it isn’t open to the agent not to perform it
Cuypers, Stefaan E. (2004). The trouble with Harry: Compatibilist free will internalism and manipulation. Journal of Philosophical Research 29 (February):235-254.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Double, Richard (1996). Metaphilosophy and Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 17 | Google)
Abstract: Why is debate over the free will problem so intractable? In this broad and stimulating look at the philosophical enterprise, Richard Double uses the free will controversy to build on the subjectivist conclusion he developed in The Non-Reality of Free Will (OUP 1991). Double argues that various views about free will--e.g., compatibilism, incompatibilism, and even subjectivism--are compelling if, and only if, we adopt supporting metaphilosophical views. Because metaphilosophical considerations are not provable, we cannot show any free will theory to be most reasonable. Metaphilosophy and Free Will deconstructs the free will problem and, by example, challenges philosophers in other areas to show how their philosophical argumentation can succeed
Double, Richard (2002). Metaethics, metaphilosophy, and free will subjectivism. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Double, Richard (2004). The ethical advantages of free will subjectivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):411-422.   (Google | More links)
Double, Richard (1991). The Non-Reality of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 41 | Google)
Abstract: The traditional disputants in the free will discussion--the libertarian, soft determinist, and hard determinist--agree that free will is a coherent concept, while disagreeing on how the concept might be satisfied and whether it can, in fact, be satisfied. In this innovative analysis, Richard Double offers a bold new argument, rejecting all of the traditional theories and proposing that the concept of free will cannot be satisfied, no matter what the nature of reality. Arguing that there is unavoidable conflict within our understanding of moral responsibility and free choice, Double seeks to prove that when we ascribe responsibility, blame, or freedom, we merely express attitudes, rather than state anything capable of truth or falsity. Free will, he concludes, is essentially an incoherent notion
Duus-Otterström, Göran (2008). Betting against hard determinism. Res Publica 14 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: The perennial fear associated with the free will problem is the prospect of hard determinism being true. Unlike prevalent attempts to reject hard determinism by defending compatibilist analyses of freedom and responsibility, this article outlines a pragmatic argument to the effect that we are justified in betting that determinism is false even though we may retain the idea that free will and determinism are incompatible. The basic argument is that as long as we accept that libertarian free will is worth wanting, there is a defensible rationale, given the uncertainty which remains as to whether determinism is true or false, to refrain from acting on hard determinism, and thus to bet that libertarian free will exists. The article closes by discussing two potentially decisive objections to this pragmatic argument
Fischer, John Martin (ed.) (2007). Four Views on Free Will. Blackwell Pub..   (Google)
Abstract: Focusing on the concepts and interactions of free will, moral responsibility, and determinism, this text represents the most up-to-date account of the four major positions in the free will debate. Four serious and well-known philosophers explore the opposing viewpoints of libertarianism, compatibilism, hard incompatibilism, and revisionism The first half of the book contains each philosopher’s explanation of his particular view; the second half allows them to directly respond to each other’s arguments, in a lively and engaging conversation Offers the reader a one of a kind, interactive discussion Forms part of the acclaimed Great Debates in Philosophy series
Fisher, C. M. (2001). If there were no free will. Medical Hypotheses 56:364-366.   (Google | More links)
Ginet, Carl (2002). Living without free will by Derk Pereboom. Journal of Ethics 6 (3).   (Google)
Harrison, Gerald (2009). Hooray! We're not morally responsible! Think 8 (23):87-95.   (Google)
Abstract: Being morally responsible means being blameworthy and deserving of punishment if we do wrong and praiseworthy and deserving reward if we do right. In what follows I shall argue that in all likelihood we're not morally responsible. None of us. Ever.
Hurley, Susan L. (2000). Is responsibility essentially impossible? Philosophical Studies 99 (2):229-268.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Part 1 reviews the general question of when elimination of an entity orproperty is warranted, as opposed to revision of our view of it. Theconnections of this issue with the distinction between context-drivenand theory-driven accounts of reference and essence are probed.Context-driven accounts tend to be less hospitable to eliminativism thantheory-driven accounts, but this tendency should not be overstated.However, since both types of account give essences explanatory depth,eliminativist claims associated with supposed impossible essences areproblematic on both types of account.Part 2 applies these considerations to responsibility in particular. Theimpossibility of regressive choice or control is explained. It is arguedthat this impossibility does not support the claim that no one is everresponsible on either context-driven or theory-driven accounts of`responsibility''
Mele, Alfred R. (2003). Review of Derk Pereboom's Living without free will. Mind 112 (446):375-378.   (Google)
Nadelhoffer, Thomas (online). Folk intuitions, slippery slopes, and necessary fictions: An essay on Saul Smilansky's free will illusionism.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: During the past two decades, an interest among philosophers in fictitious and illusory beliefs has sprung up in fields ranging anywhere from mathematics and modality to morality.1 In this paper, we focus primarily on the view that Saul Smilansky has dubbed “free will illusionism”—i.e., the purportedly descriptive claim that most people have illusory beliefs concerning the existence of libertarian free will, coupled with the normative claim that because dispelling these illusory beliefs would produce negative personal and societal consequences, those of us who happen to know the dangerous and gloomy truth about the non-existence of libertarian free will should simply keep quiet in the name of the common good
Nowell-Smith, P. H. (1954). Determinists and libertarians. Mind 63 (July):317-337.   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy (1997). Is Free Will Just Another Chaotic Process? (Review of Three Books). Times Literary Supplement (Dec.5).   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy (2003). Review of Derk Pereboom, Living Without Free Will. Philosophical Quarterly 53:308-310.   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy (2003). Understanding free will: Might we double-think? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):222-229.   (Google | More links)
Pereboom, Derk (2001). Living Without Free Will. Cambridge Univ Pr.   (Cited by 100 | Google | More links)
Pereboom, Derk (2002). Meaning in life without free will. Philosophic Exchange 33:19-34.   (Google)
Abstract: In a recent article Gary Watson instructively distinguishes two faces or aspects of responsibility. The first is the self-disclosing sense, which is concerned centrally with aretaic or excellence-relevant evaluations of agents. An agent is responsible for an action in this respect when it is an action that is inescapably the agent’s own, if, as a declaration of her adopted ends, it expresses what the agent is about, her identity as an agent. An action for which the agent is responsible in this sense expresses what the agent is ready to stand up for, to defend, to affirm, to answer for. (1996: 233-4) . The second face of responsibility has perhaps had a more explicit role in debates about free will — it concerns control and accountability. Watson argues that when one is skeptical about the second "accountability" face, one need not also be skeptical about responsibility as self-disclosure. I agree, and in my view, this helps us see why maintaining that determinism precludes accountability need not also commit one to the view that determinism precludes responsibility in a way that threatens meaning in life. Part of the reason for this is that when responsibility as accountability is undermined, less of what we deem valuable needs to be relinquished than often believed. But in addition, it turns out that the kind of accountability precluded by determinism is not nearly as important to what is most significant in human life as is responsibility as self-disclosure. Indeed, it may be that an unfortunate fusing of these two notions underlies the concern that if determinism imperils accountability, it also threatens what most fundamentally makes our lives meaningful
Smilansky, Saul (2001). Free will: From nature to illusion. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1):71-95.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Sir Peter Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ was a landmark in the philosophical understanding of the free will problem. Building upon it, I attempt to defend a novel position, which purports to provide, in outline, the next step forward. The position presented is based on the descriptively central and normatively crucial role of illusion in the issue of free will. Illusion, I claim, is the vital but neglected key to the free will problem. The proposed position, which may be called ‘Illusionism’, is shown to follow both from the strengths and from the weaknesses of Strawson’s position
Smilansky, Saul (ms). Free will: Two radical proposals.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The free will problem and the basic alternative ways of dealing with it have been known for some 2000 years, and have engaged the greatest philosophers through the ages. In the last 50 years much philosophical progress has been added on top of that ancient cumulative understanding. Hence it would be natural to wonder why I think that any new proposal can be made on this classic problem, let alone two radical proposals
Smilansky, Saul (1999). Free will: The positive role of illusion. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 2: Metaphysics. Bowling Green: Philosophy Doc Ctr.   (Google)
Sommers, Tamler (ms). Darrow and determinism: Giving up ultimate responsibility.   (Google)
Abstract: This year marks the 80 th anniversary of Clarence Darrow’s brilliant and passionate defense of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two wealthy teenagers who pled guilty to the kidnapping and murder of 14 year old Bobby Franks. On August 22, 1924 Darrow gave his famous twelve hour closing statement, bringing tears to the eyes of the presiding judge and saving his clients from the death penalty. Here are two excerpts from the summation
Strawson, Galen (1989). Consciousness, free will, and the unimportance of determinism. Inquiry 32 (March):3-27.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Strawson, Galen (2002). Dreams of final responsibility. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Strawson, Galen (1986). Freedom and Belief. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 102 | Google)
Abstract: On the whole, we continue to believe firmly both that we have free will and that we are morally responsible for what we do. Here, the author argues that there is a fundamental sense in which there is no such thing as free will or true moral responsibility (as ordinarily understood). Devoting the main body of his book to an attempt to explain why we continue to believe as we do, Strawson examines various aspects of the "cognitive phenomenology" of freedom--the nature, causes, and consequences of our deep commitment to belief in freedom
Strawson, Galen (2002). The Bounds of freedom. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Strawson, Galen (1994). The impossibility of moral responsibility. Philosophical Studies 75 (1-2):5-24.   (Cited by 46 | Google | More links)
Vargas, Manuel R. (ms). Libertarianism and skepticism about free will: Some arguments against both.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: On one way of putting things, incompatibilism is the view that in some important sense free will (and/or moral responsibility) is incompatible with determinism. Incompatibilism is typically taken to come in two species: libertarianism, which holds that we are free and responsible (and correspondingly, that determinism does not hold), and skeptical incompatibilism.1 The latter includes views such as hard determinism, which hold that we are not free (and/or responsible) and views that argue that free will is incompatible with both determinism and indeterminism, among others. In this paper, I attempt to provide positive arguments against both of the primary strands of incompatibilism. The first aim of this paper is to take some steps toward filling in an argument that is often mentioned but seldom developed in any detail—the argument that libertarianism is a scientifically implausible view. I say “take some steps” because I think the considerations I muster (at most) favor a less ambitious relative of that argument. The less ambitious claim I hope to motivate is that there is little reason to believe that extant libertarian accounts satisfy a standard of naturalistic plausibility, even if they do satisfy a standard of naturalistic
Vargas, Manuel R. (2004). Responsibility and the aims of theory: Strawson and revisionism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (2):218-241.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Vilhauer, Benjamin (2009). Free will skepticism and personhood as a desert base. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.   (Google)
Vilhauer, Ben (2004). Hard Determinism, Remorse, and Virtue Ethics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):547-564.   (Google)