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5.4b.6. Libertarianism about Free Will (Libertarianism about Free Will on PhilPapers)

Acworth, Richard (1963). Smart on free-will. Mind 72 (286):271-272.   (Google | More links)
Alavi, Roksana (2005). Robert Kane, free will, and neuro-indeterminism. Philo 8 (2):95-108.   (Google)
Allen, Robert F. (2005). Free will and indeterminism: Robert Kane's libertarianism. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:341-355.   (Google)
Abstract: Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.1 That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product of decisions that she could have rationally avoided making. That one’s character is the product of such decisions entails ultimate responsibility for its manifestations, engendering a free will
Almeida, M. & Bernstein, M. (2003). Lucky libertarianism. Philosophical Studies 22 (2):93-119.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Perhaps the greatest impediment to a viable libertarianism is the provision of a satisfactory explanation of how actions that are undetermined by an agent''s character can still be under the control of, or up to, the agent. The luck problem has been most assiduously examined by Robert Kane who supplies a detailed account of how this problem can be resolved. Although Kane''s theory is innovative, insightful, and more resourceful than most of his critics believe, it ultimately cannot account for the type of control that moral responsibility and (ultimate) agency legitimately require
Anglin, W. S. (1990). Free Will and the Christian Faith. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Libertarians such as J.R. Lucas have abandoned traditional Christian doctrines because they cannot reconcile them with the freedom of the will. Traditional Christian thinkers such as Augustine have repudiated libertarianism because they cannot reconcile it with the dogmas of the Faith. In Free Will and the Christian Faith, W.S. Anglin demonstrates that free will and traditional Christianity are ineed compatible. He examines, and solves, puzzles about the relationships between free will and omnipotence, omniscience, and God's goodness, using the idea of free will to answer the question of why God allows evil, and presenting arguments that link free will to eternal life and to the nature of revelation. Topics covered include the meaning of life, the soul and Lesbegue measure, and strategies for discerning the voice of God
Balaguer, Mark (2010). Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem. Mit Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Introduction -- Formulating the problem of free will -- The old formulation of the problem of free will -- Compatibilism and the rejection of an intermediate formulation of the problem of free will -- The final (or a new-and-improved) formulation of the problem of free will -- Some remarks on libertarianism -- Synopsis of the book -- Why the compatibilism issue and the conceptual-analysis issue are metaphysically irrelevant -- What determines whether an answer to the what-is-free-will question is correct -- Why the what-is-free-will question is irrelevant to the do-we-have-free-will -- Question, assuming the OL view is correct -- Why the what-is-free-will question is irrelevant to the do-we-have-free-will -- Question, even if the OL view isn't correct -- The which-kinds-of-freedom-do-we-have question -- The coherence question -- The moral responsibility question (and the issue of what's worth wanting) -- Generalizing the argument -- Why the compatibilism question reduces to the what-is-free-will question -- Where we stand and where we're going next -- An aside : some remarks on the what-is-free-will question, the compatibilism question, and the moral responsibility question -- The what-is-free-will question and the compatibilism question -- The moral responsibility question -- Why the libertarian question reduces to the issue of indeterminacy -- Preliminaries -- Torn decisions -- Indeterminacy -- Appropriate non-randomness -- The argument -- If our torn decisions are undetermined, then we author and control them -- The argument from token-token identity -- The argument from phenomenology -- Objections -- Why TDW-indeterminism increases or procures authorship and control -- Why this sort of L-freedom is worth wanting -- If our torn decisions are undetermined, then they are sufficiently rational to be L-free -- Plural authorship, control, and rationality non-torn decisions -- Where we stand -- Why there are no good arguments for or against determinism (or any other thesis that would establish or refute libertarianism)? -- An a priori argument for determinism (and, hence, against TDW-indeterminism) -- An a priori argument for libertarianism (and, hence, in favor of TDW-ndeterminism) -- Empirical arguments -- Arguments for universal determinism -- Arguments for macro-level determinism or virtual macro-level determinism -- Arguments for neural determinism or virtual neural determinism -- Arguments for torn-decision determinism, or for virtual torn-decision -- Determinism or against TDW-indeterminism -- The argument from Tegmark's work -- The argument from Libet's work -- Arguments from psychology -- Where we stand.
Balaguer, Mark (1999). Libertarianism as a scientifically respectable view. Philosophical Studies 93 (2):189-211.   (Google)
Balaguer, Mark (2009). Why there are no good arguments for any interesting version of determinism. Synthese 168 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: This paper considers the empirical evidence that we currently have for various kinds of determinism that might be relevant to the thesis that human beings possess libertarian free will. Libertarianism requires a very strong version of indeterminism, so it can be refuted not just by universal determinism, but by some much weaker theses as well. However, it is argued that at present, we have no good reason to believe even these weak deterministic views and, hence, no good reason—at least from this quarter—to doubt that we are libertarian free. In particular, the paper responds to various arguments for neural and psychological determinism, arguments based on the work of people like Honderich, Tegmark, Libet, Velmans, Wegner, and Festinger
Belnap, Nuel, Branching histories approach to indeterminism and free will.   (Google)
Abstract: An informal sketch is offered of some chief ideas of the (formal) ``branching histories'' theory of objective possibility, free will and indeterminism. Reference is made to ``branching time'' and to ``branching space-times,'' with emphasis on a theme that they share: Objective possibilities are in Our World, organized by the relation of causal order
Berofsky, Bernard (2006). Global control and freedom. Philosophical Studies 131 (2):419-445.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Several prominent incompatibilists, e.g., Robert Kane and Derk Pereboom, have advanced an analogical argument in which it is claimed that a deterministic world is essentially the same as a world governed by a global controller. Since the latter world is obviously one lacking in an important kind of freedom, so must any deterministic world. The argument is challenged whether it is designed to show that determinism precludes freedom as power or freedom as self-origination. Contrary to the claims of its adherents, the global controller nullifies freedom because she is an agent, whereas natural forces are at work in conventional deterministic worlds. Other key differences that undermine the analogy are identified. It is also shown that the argument begs the question against the classical compatibilist, who believes that determinism does not preclude alternative possibilities
Bernstein, M. (1995). Kanean libertarianism. Southwest Philosophical Review 11 (1):151-57.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Berofsky, Bernard (2000). Ultimate rsponsibility in a determined world. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):135-40.   (Google)
Cairns-Smith, Graham; Clark, Thomas W.; Gomatam, Ravi; Kane, Robert H.; Maxwell, Nicholas; Smart, J. J. C.; Spence, Sean A. & Stapp, Henry P. (2005). Commentaries on David Hodgson's "a plain person's free will". Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):20-75.   (Google)
Campbell, C. A. (1958). Free will: A reply to mr. R. D. Bradley. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):46 – 56.   (Google)
Campbell, Charles A. (1967). In Defence Of Free Will, With Other Philosophical Essays. London,: Allen &Amp; Unwin.   (Cited by 12 | Google)
Abstract: More particularly, I have been influenced by a conviction that the present state of philosophical opinion on free will is, for certain definitely assignable ...
Capes, Justin A. (2010). Can 'downward causation' save free will? Philosophia 38 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: Recently, Trenton Merricks has defended a libertarian view of human freedom. He claims that human persons have downward causal control of their constituent parts, and that downward causal control of this sort is sufficient for free will. In this paper I examine Merricks’s defense of free will, and argue that it is unsuccessful. I show that having downward causal control is not sufficient for for free will. In an Appendix I also argue that Merricks’s defense of free will, together with assumptions implicit in his broader ontology, commit him to the implausible conclusion that determinism is incompatible with the existence of human persons
Carlson, E. (2002). In defense of the mind argument. Philosophia 29 (1-4):393-400.   (Google)
Carlson, Erik (1998). Van Inwagen on determinism and moral responsibility. Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (2).   (Google)
Ciocchi, David M. (2002). The religious adequacy of free-will theism. Religious Studies 38 (1):45-61.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I question the claim that the increasingly popular position known as ‘free-will theism’ or ‘the open view of God’ supports a rich religious life. To do this I advance a notion of ‘religious adequacy’, and then argue that free-will theism fails to be religiously adequate with respect to one of the principal practices of the religious life – petitionary prayer. Drawing on current work in libertarian free-will theory, I consider what are likely the only two lines of defence free-will theists might use in response to my argument. I argue that these defences either fail or have features that make them unacceptable to free-will theists. I then suggest that this failure with petitionary prayer is an instance of a larger problem for free-will theism, that the position's distinctive views often differ more dramatically from the common beliefs and practices of most believers than is usually recognized or acknowledged. I conclude that free-will theism can support a rich religious life only for those who make the requisite changes in belief and practice, including changing their expectations about petitionary prayer
Clarke, Randolph (1999). Free choice, effort, and wanting more. Philosophical Explorations 2 (1):20-41.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper examines the libertarian account of free choice advanced by Robert Kane in his recent book, The Significance of Free Will. First a rather simple libertarian view is considered, and an objection is raised against it the view fails to provide for any greater degree of agent-control than what could be available in a deterministic world. The basic differences between this simple view and Kane's account are the requirements, on the latter, of efforts of will and of an agent's wanting more to do a certain thing than he wants to do anything else. It is argued here that neither of these features yields any improvement over the simple libertarian view; neither helps to meet the objection that was raised against the simple view. Finally, it is suggested that a modest defense of that view might be available
Clarke, Randolph (1995). Indeterminism and control. American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (2):125-138.   (Cited by 17 | Google)
Clarke, Randolph (2003). Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 42 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This comprehensive study offers a balanced assessment of libertarian accounts of free will.
Clarke, Randolph (2000). Libertarianism, action theory, and the loci of responsibility. Philosophical Studies 98 (2):153-174.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Clarke, Randolph (2002). Libertarian views: Noncausal and event-causal sccounts of free agency. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Clarke, Randolph (2000). Modest libertarianism. Philosopical Perspectives 14:21-46.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Clarke, Randolph (1997). On the possibility of rational free action. Philosophical Studies 88 (1):37-57.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Coffman, E. J. & Warfield, Ted A. (2007). Alfred Mele's metaphysical freedom? Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):185 – 194.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper we raise three questions of clarification about Alfred Mele's fine recent book, Free Will and Luck. Our questions concern the following topics: (i) Mele's combination of 'luck' and 'Frankfurt-style' objections to libertarianism, (ii) Mele's stipulations about 'compatibilism' and the relation between questions about free action and questions about moral responsibility, and (iii) Mele's treatment of the Consequence Argument
Dennett, Daniel C. (1978). On giving libertarians what they say they want. In Brainstorms. MIT Press.   (Cited by 25 | Google)
Dorato, Mauro (2002). Determinism, chance, and freedom. In Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: After a brief but necessary characterization of the notion of determinism, I discuss and critically evaluate four views on the relationship between determinism and free will by taking into account both (i) what matters most to us in terms of a free will worth-wanting and (ii) which capacities can be legitimately attributed to human beings without contradicting what we currently know from natural sciences. The main point of the paper is to argue that the libertarian faces a dilemma: on the one hand, the possibility of ?doing otherwise? ? a necessary condition of a free will according to the libertarian ? requires indeterminism or chance, but any kind of indeterminism has the undesirable consequence of separating our actions from our character and our past. On the other hand, if our character has to be fully expressed by our actions, determinism becomes necessary and we seem to be metaphysically unfree. I conclude by showing that the dispute between compatibilists and libertarians possesses an important but hitherto very neglected pragmatic component as well, dependent on two different ethical attitudes toward a meaningful life
Double, Richard (1988). Libertarianism and rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 26:431-439.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
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
Double, Richard (1993). The principle of rational explanation defended. Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):133-142.   (Google)
Dupre, John (1996). The solution to the problem of freedom of the will. Philosophical Perspectives 10:385-402.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
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
Ekstrom, Laura W. (2000). Free Will: A Philosophical Study. Westview.   (Cited by 44 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author’s own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory
Ekstrom, Laura W. (2003). Free will, chance, and mystery. Philosophical Studies 22 (2):153-80.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall of the premises of his argument for free will–causalindeterminism incompatibilism are true. By use of a particularevent-causal indeterminist account of free action, I support thecase for free will–indeterminism compatibilism
Ekstrom, Laura W. (2002). Libertarianism and Frankfurt-style cases. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Ekstrom, Laura W. (1998). Protecting incompatibilist free action. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (3):281-91.   (Google)
Esfeld, Michael (2000). Is quantum indeterminism relevant to free will? Philosophia Naturalis 37 (1):177-187.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Quantum indeterminism may make available the option of an interactionism that does not have to pay the price of a force over and above those forces that are acknowledged in physics in order to explain how intentions can be physically effective. I show how this option might work in concrete terms and offer a criticism of it
Farrer, Austin (1960). The Freedom Of The Will. Charles Scribner's Sons.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Feldman, Richard H. & Buckareff, Andrei A. (2003). Reasons explanations and pure agency. Philosophical Studies 112 (2):135-145.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We focus on the recent non-causal theory of reasons explanationsof free action proffered by a proponent of the agency theory, Timothy O'Connor. We argue that the conditions O'Connor offersare neither necessary nor sufficient for a person to act for a reason. Finally, we note that the role O'Connor assigns toreasons in the etiology of actions results in further conceptual difficulties for agent-causalism
Finch, Alicia & Warfield, Ted A. (1998). The mind argument and libertarianism. Mind 107 (427):515-28.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Many critics of libertarian freedom have charged that freedom is incompatible with indeterminism. We show that the strongest argument that has been provided for this claim is invalid. The invalidity of the argument in question, however, implies the invalidity of the standard Consequence argument for the incompatibility of freedom and determinism. We show how to repair the Consequence argument and argue that no similar improvement will revive the worry about the compatibility of indeterminism and freedom
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
Fischer, John Martin (2000). The significance of free will by Robert Kane. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):141-148.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Ginet, Carl A. (1962). Can the will be caused? Philosophical Review 71 (January):49-55.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Ginet, Carl A. (1997). Freedom, responsibility, and agency. Journal of Ethics 1 (1):85-98.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper first distinguishes three alternative views that adherents to both incompatibilism and PAP may take as to what constitutes an agent''s determining or controlling her action (if it''s not the action''s being deterministically caused by antecedent events): the indeterministic-causation view, the agent-causation view, and "simple indeterminism." The bulk of the paper focusses on the dispute between simple indeterminism - the view that the occurrence of a simple mental event is determined by its subject if it possesses the "actish" phenomenal quality and is undetermined by antecedent events - and Timothy O''Connor''s agent-causation view. It defends simple indeterminism against O''Connor''s objections to it and offers objections to O''Connor''s view
Ginet, Carl A. (2003). Libertarianism. In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Ginet, Carl A. (1990). On Action. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 101 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This book deals with foundational issues in the history of the nature of action, the intentionality of action, the compatibility of freedom of action with determinism, and the explanation of action. Ginet's is a volitional view: that every action has as its core a "simple" mental action. He develops a sophisticated account of the individuation of actions and also propounds a challenging version of the view that freedom of action is incompatible with determinism
Ginet, Carl A. (2002). Reasons and explanations of action: Causalist versus noncausalist accounts. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Ginet, Carl A. (1989). Reasons explanation of action: An incompatibilist account. Philosophical Perspectives 3:17-46.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Glannon, Walter (1999). The case for libertarian free will. Inquiry 42 (2):285 – 303.   (Google | More links)
Goetz, Stewart C. (1998). Failed solutions to a standard libertarian problem. Philosophical Studies 90 (3):237-244.   (Google | More links)
Gomatam, Ravi (2005). Do Hodgson's propositions uniquely characterize free will? Commentary on Hodgson's paper on plain person's free will. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12:32-40.   (Google)
Abstract: s view of free will. He also offers detailed justifications that he hopes are philosophically and scientifically respectable. While Hodgson doesn't state anywhere what would count as a "scientifically respectable" proposition, he seems to expect that any scientific theory of consciousness and free will must fully account for his nine propositions, not just explain them away. Or, alternatively, any scientific theory of free will that is incompatible with his nine propositions cannot serve as a possible framework for developing a scientific theory of conscious free will
Gomatam, Ravi (2005). Do Hodgson's propositions uniquely characterize free will? Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):32-40.   (Google)
Gomes, Gilberto (2005). What should we retain from a plain person's concept of free will? Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):40-43.   (Google)
Graham, Peter J. (2004). Metaphysical libertarianism and the epistemology of testimony. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):37-50.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: Reductionism about testimony holds that testimonial warrant or entitlement is just a species of inductive warrant. Anti-Reductionism holds that it is different from inductive but analogous to perceptual or memorial warrant. Perception receives much of its positive epistemic status from being reliably truthconducive in normal conditions. One reason to reject the epistemic analogy is that testimony involves agency – it goes through the will of the speaker – but perception does not. A speaker might always choose to lie or otherwise deliberately mislead. It is argued that the force of this derives (in part) from Libertarianism about agency, and that Libertarianism, if it undermines the Anti-Reductionist explanation of why we are entitled to rely upon testimony, undermines the Reductionist explanation as..
Haji, Ishtiyaque (2001). Control conundrums: Modest libertarianism, responsibility, and explanation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 82 (2):178–200.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Haji, Ishtiyaque (1999). Indeterminism and Frankfurt-type examples. Philosophical Explorations 2 (1):42-58.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I assess Robert Kane's view that global Frankfurt-type cases don't show that freedom to do otherwise is never required for moral responsibility. I first adumbrate Kane's indeterminist account of free will.This will help us grasp Kane's notion of ultimate responsibility, and his claim that in a global Frankfurt-type case, the counterfactual intervener could not control all of the relevant agent's actions in the Frankfurt manner, and some of those actions would be such that the agent could have done otherwise. Appealing to considerations of responsibility and luck, I then show that the global cases survive Kane's objections
Haji, Ishtiyaque (2000). Indeterminism, explanation, and luck. Journal of Ethics 4 (3):211-235.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I first adumbrate pertinent aspectsof Robert Kane''s libertarian theory of free choice oraction and an objection of luck that has been levelledagainst the theory. I then consider Kane''s recentresponses to this objection. To meet these responses,I argue that the view that undetermined choices (ofthe sort implied by Kane''s theory) are a matter ofluck is associated with a view about actionexplanation, to wit: when Jones does A and hisdoing of A is undetermined, and when hiscounterpart, Jones*, in the nearest possibleworld in which the past and the laws are held constantuntil the moment of choice does B instead, thereis no explanation (deterministic or indeterministic)of the difference in outcome – Jones''s A-ing butJones*''s B-ing – in terms of prior reasonsor motives of either agent. Absence of such anexplanation is one crucial factor that underliesthe charge that Jones''s A-ing and Jones*''sB-ing are matters of luck. I argue that thissort of luck is incompatible with responsibility
Haji, Ishtiyaque (2000). Libertarianism and the luck objection. Journal of Ethics 4 (4):329-337.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Haji, Ishtiyaque & Cuypers, Stefaan E. (2001). Libertarian free will and CNC manipulation. Dialectica 55 (3):221-238.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Haji, Ishtiyaque (2005). Libertarianism, luck, and action explanation. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:321-340.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Harrison, Gerald K. (2008). Modest libertarianism and clandestine control. Dialectica 62 (4):495-507.   (Google)
Abstract: Cases involving clandestine manipulation pose a significant challenge to compatibilist conceptions of free will. But compatibilists often argue that they are not alone and that modest libertarian conceptions of free will are also susceptible to the problem. I take issue with this claim. I argue that agent-causal libertarian views are not susceptible to the problem. I then argue that the compatibilist cannot cite a relevant difference between agent-causal libertarian views and modest libertarian views. Therefore from a compatibilist's perspective modest libertarian views are impervious to the problem of clandestine manipulation
Hodgson, David (2005). A plain person's free will. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):3-19.   (Google)
Abstract: In my experience, plain persons (here meaning persons who are neither philosophers or cognitive scientists) tend to accept something like a libertarian position on free will, namely that free will exists and is inconsistent with determinism. That position is widely debunked by philosophers and cognitive scientists. My view at present is that something like this plain person's position is not only defensible but likely to be closer to the truth than opposing views. To put this to the test, I have written a simple and straightforward outline of what I hope is a philosophically and scientifically respectable version of the plain person's position on free will, and have offered it for demolition by those who say such a view is untenable. My account of free will is a robust one, explicitly inconsistent with determinism and intended to support equally robust views of personal responsibility for conduct. I see three broad areas of difficulty for this account
Hodgson, David (2002). Consciousness, quantum physics, and free will. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Hodgson, David (2002). Physics, consciousness and free will. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Hodgson, David (2005). Response to commentators. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):76-95.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I am very grateful to the commentators for their consideration of my target article. I found their comments thought-provoking and challenging, but I am not persuaded that any substantial departure is required from the views I expressed in the article. I will respond to each comment in turn, and then I will briefly review how my nine propositions have fared
Hodgson, David (1991). The Mind Matters: Consciousness and Choice in a Quantum World. Oxford Unversity Press.   (Cited by 36 | Google)
Abstract: In this book, Hodgson presents a clear and compelling case against today's orthodox mechanistic view of the brain-mind, and in favor of the view that "the mind matters." In the course of the argument he ranges over such topics as consciousness, informal reasoning, computers, evolution, and quantum indeterminancy and non-locality. Although written from a philosophical viewpoint, the book has important implications for the sciences concerned with the brain-mind problem. At the same time, it is largely non-technical, and thus accessible to the non-specialist reader
Honderich, Ted (2001). Mind the guff. Journal Of Consciousness Studies 8 (4):62-78.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: (I) John Searle's conception of consciousness in the 'Mind the Gap' issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies remains short on content, no advance on either materialism or traditional dualism. Still, it is sufficiently contentful to be self-contradictory. And so his Biological Subjectivity on Two Levels, like materialism and dualism, needs replacing by a radically different conception of consciousness -- such as Consciousness as Existence. (II) From his idea that we can discover 'gaps', seeming absences of causal circumstances, in our experience of deciding and acting, Searle is led to the positing of a self and to mysterious causing. (III) In fact philosophers of determinism and freedom over three centuries have concerned themselves with what are now termed 'gaps'. Searle's advance is a useful terminological one. Compatibilist philosophers of freedom, contrary to what is said, have not missed any point at all. A successor to both Compatibilism and Incompatibilism is needed. (IV) Searle's previous account of deciding and acting in Biological Subjectivity on Two Levels does indeed fail because of its epiphenomenalism. (V) The culmination of his paper, his preferred hypothesis now about deciding and acting, is that down-up causation is true of it but not left-right causation. Quantum Theory as often interpreted doesn't work down-up but does work left-right. The hypothesis is entirely in the tradition of the Incompatibilist and Libertarian philosophers of determinism and freedom, whom Searle has joined, but is factually incredible
Honderich, Ted (ms). Richard double: The moral hardness of libertarianism.   (Google)
Abstract: The following is a criticism designed to apply to most libertarian free will theorists. I argue that most libertarians hold three beliefs that jointly show them to be unsympathetic or hard-hearted to persons whom they hold morally responsible: that persons are morally responsible only because they make libertarian choices, that we should hold persons responsible, and that we lack epistemic justification for thinking persons make such choices. Softhearted persons who held these three beliefs would espouse hard determinism, which exonerates all persons of moral responsibility, or, at least, would not espouse libertarianism. I do not address the view held by some libertarians that we do have epistemic justification for thinking that persons make libertarian choices, a minority position that I believe cannot be sustained
Howsepian, A. A. (2004). A libertarian-friendly theory of compatibilist free action. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):453-480.   (Google)
Kane, Robert H. (2004). Agency, responsibility, and indeterminism: Reflections on libertarian theories of free will. In Ted Honderich (ed.), Freedom and Determinism. Bradford Book/MIT Press.   (Google)
Kane, Robert H. (2005). Free agency and laws of nature. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):46-53.   (Google)
Kant, Immanuel (1781). For determinism and indeterminism. In Critique of Pure Reason.   (Google)
Abstract: _One summary of the great Kant's view, to the extent that it can be summed up, is_ _that he takes determinism to be a kind of fact, and indeterminism to be another kind_ _of fact, and our freedom to be a fact too -- but takes this situation to have nothing to_ _do with the kind of compatibility of determinism and freedom proclaimed by such_ _Compatibilists as Hobbes and Hume. Thus Kant does not make freedom consistent_ _with determinism by taking up a definition of freedom as voluntariness -- at bottom,_ _being able to do what you want. This he dismisses as a wretched subterfuge,_ _quibbling about words. Rather, the freedom he seeks to make consistent with_ _determinism does indeed seem to be the freedom of the Incompatibilists --_ _origination. Is he then an Incompatibilist? Well, against that, it can be said he does_ _not allow the existence of origination in what can be called the world we know, as_ _Incompatibilists certainly do._
Kane, Robert H. (1985). Free Will and Values. SUNY Press.   (Cited by 38 | Google)
Kane, Robert H. (2002). Free will, determinism, and indeterminism. In Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Kane, Robert H. (1996). Free will, responsibility, and will-setting. Philosophical Topics 24:67-90.   (Google)
Kane, Robert H. (1994). Free will: The illusive ideal. Philosophical Studies 75 (1-2):25-60.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Kane, Robert H. (2006). Libertarian accounts of free will. Mind 115 (457):136-142.   (Google | More links)
Kane, Robert H. (1988). Libertarianism and rationality revisited. Southern Journal of Philosophy 26:441-60.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Kane, Robert H. (1999). New directions on free will. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 2: Metaphysics. Bowling Green: Philosophy Doc Ctr.   (Google)
Kane, Robert H. (1999). On free will, responsibility and indeterminism: Responses to Clarke, Haji, and Mele. Philosophical Explorations 2 (2):105-121.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper responds to three critical essays on my book, The Significance of Free Will(Oxford, 1996) by Randolph Clarke, Istiyaque Haji and Alfred Mele (which essays appear in this issue and an earlier issue of this journal). This response first explains crucial features of the theory of free will of the book, including the notion of ultimate responsibility.The paper then answers objections of Haji and Mele that the occurrence of undetermined choices would be matters of luck or chance, and so could not be responsible actions. It then responds to concerns of Clarke that indeterminism provides no greater degree of control for defenders of incompatibilist free will and to concerns Clarke has about the notions of "effort" and "willing" in the book. Finally, the paper addresses objections of Haji concerning Frankfurt type-examples and the relation of moral responsibility to the power to act otherwise, and it addresses a concern of Mele's about why we should want a free will that is incompatible with determinism
Kane, Robert H. (1999). Responsibility, luck, and chance: Reflections on free will and determinism. Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):217-40.   (Cited by 44 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Consider the following principle: (LP) If an action is undetermined at a time t, then its happening rather than not happening at t would be a matter of chance or luck, and so it could not be a free and responsible action. This principle (which we may call the luck principle, or simply LP) is false, as I shall explain shortly. Yet it seems true.
Kane, Robert H. (ms). Reflections on free will, determinism, and indeterminism.   (Google)
Abstract: _Some say there is no progress in philosophy, and certainly there is one sense in_ _which they are wrong. There are at least significant developments in philosophical_ _doctrines that have been persistently advocated in the past. With confidence I leave_ _you to arrive at a satisfactory understanding of 'significant'. There is no doubt that_ _Robert Kane has made some progress, probably more than any other contemporary_ _philosopher, in the laying out and defending of the doctrine that an understandable_ _freedom is importantly inconsistent with determinism, and that we do have this_ _freedom. If the past is any guide to the present, I myself, with the aid of further_ _study, will come to disagree. But certainly this summation of Kane's views, put_ _together for the Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website, is strongly_ _commended to you._
Kane, Robert H. (2000). Responses to Bernard Berofsky, John Martin Fischer and Galen Strawson. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):157-167.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Kane, Robert H. (2000). Replies to Fischer and Haji. Journal of Ethics 4 (4):338-342.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Kane, Robert H. (2002). Some neglected pathways in the free will labyrinth. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Kane, Robert H. (1996). The Significance of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 204 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In the past quarter-century, there has been a resurgence of interest in philosophical questions about free will. After a clear and broad-reaching survey of these recent debates, Robert Kane presents his own controversial view. Arguing persuasively for a traditional incompatibilist or libertarian conception of free will, Kane demonstrates that such a conception can be made intelligible without appeals to obscure or mysterious forms of agency and thus can be reconconciled with a contemporary scientific picture of the world
Levy, Neil (2008). Bad luck once again. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):749-754.   (Google)
Abstract: In a recent article in this journal, Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe sketch an account of indeterminist free will designed to avoid the luck objection that has been wielded to such effect against event-causal libertarianism. They argue that if decision-making is an indeterministic process and not an event or series of events, the luck objection will fail. I argue that they are wrong: the luck objection is equally successful against their account as against existing event-causal libertarianisms. Like the event-causal libertarianism their account is meant to supplant, the process view cannot offer a reasons explanation of the agent's choice itself; that choice is explained by nothing except chance. The agent therefore fails to exercise freedom-level control over it
Levy, Neil (2005). Contrastive explanations: A dilemma for libertarians. Dialectica 59 (1):51-61.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: To the extent that indeterminacy intervenes between our reasons for action and our decisions, intentions and actions, our freedom seems to be reduced, not enhanced. Free will becomes nothing more than the power to choose irrationally. In recognition of this problem, some recent libertarians have suggested that free will is paradigmatically manifested only in actions for which we have reasons for both or all the alternatives. In these circumstances, however we choose, we choose rationally. Against this kind of account, most fully developed by Robert Kane, critics have pressed the demand for contrastive explanations. Kane has responded by arguing that the demand does not need to be met: responsibility for an action does not require that there be a contrastive explanation of that action. However, this response proves too much: it implies that agents are responsible not only for the actions they choose, but also for the counterfactual actions which were equally available to them
Levy, Neil (ms). Closing the door on BAT.   (Google)
Abstract: BAT - the belief in ability thesis - states, roughly, that for an agent to be able rationally to deliberate between two or more alternatives, she must believe that she is metaphysically free to perform each alternative. I show, by way of a counterexample, that BAT is false
Levy, Neil (2006). Determinist deliberations. Dialectica 60 (4):453-459.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Levy, Neil (forthcoming). Restrictivism is a Covert compatibilism. In N. Trakakis (ed.), Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars Press.   (Google)
Abstract: _Libertarian restrictivists hold that agents are rarely directly free. However, they seek to reconcile their views_ _with common intuitions by arguing that moral responsibility, or indirect freedom (depending on the version of_ _restrictivism) is much more common than direct freedom. I argue that restrictivists must give up either the_ _claim that agents are rarely free, or the claim that indirect freedom or responsibility is much more common_ _than direct freedom. Focusing on Kane’s version of restrictivism, I show that the view holds people responsible_ _for actions when (merely) compatibilist conditions are met. Since this is unacceptable by libertarian lights,_ _they must either accept that compatibilist conditions on moral responsibility are sufficient, or make their_ _restrictivism more extreme than it already is._
Levy, Neil & Mckenna, Michael (2007). Symposium on free will and luck. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):151 – 152.   (Google | More links)
Levy, Ken (2001). The main problem with USC libertarianism. Philosophical Studies 105 (2):107-127.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   Libertarians like Robert Kane believe that indeterminism is necessaryfor free will. They think this in part because they hold both (1) thatmy being the ultimate cause of at least part of myself is necessary forfree will and (2) that indeterminism is necessary for this ``ultimateself-causation''. But seductive and intuitive as this ``USCLibertarianism'' may sound, it is untenable. In the end, nometaphysically coherent (not to mention empirically valid) conception ofultimate self-causation is available. So the basic intuition motivatingthe USC Libertarian is ultimately impossible to fulfill
Machan, Tibor R. (2004). A brief defense of free will. In John R. Burr & Milton Goldinger (eds.), Philosophy and Contemporary Issues. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.   (Google)
McCann, Hugh J., Agency, control, and causation.   (Google)
Abstract: Responsibility for an action requires what Professor McCann calls an exercise of legitimate agency of the part of an agent, a necessary condition for which is libertarian freedom. Free decisions are to be explained teleologically, not causally. Agent causation cannot account for the existence of a free decision, but neither does event causation account for the existence of determined events. The problem of accounting for the existence of a free decision is therefore of a piece with the problem of accounting for the existence of the world itself. All of this, like a related line of argument by Professor McCall to which you can turn, is a long way from what seems to me the continuing arguableness of determinism and the unavoidableness of the proposition that both Incompatibilism and Compatibilism about freedom are false. But we all need to remember, with Cromwell, in our own bowels if not by those of Christ, that we may be mistaken. I guess that given the proportion of false to true views in the world, we need to remember it is arguable that we are all more likely to be mistaken. -- T.H
McCall, Storrs, Controlled indeterministic processes in action theory.   (Google)
Abstract: A common criticism of free will or origination theories is that if what we do is not the result of an unbroken sequence of causes and effects, then it must to some degree be the product of chance. But in what sense can a chance act be intentional or deliberate, in what sense can it be based on reasons, and in what sense can a person be held responsible for it? If free and responsible action is incompatible with determinism, must it not equally well be incompatible with indeterminism? Professor McCall says no. He argues that a new idea, that of a controlled indeterministic process, resolves a variety of classical dilemmas and opens the way to a new understanding of the relationship between actions, reasons, causes, and responsibility. Does he succeed? All of this, like a related line of argument by Professor McCann to which you can turn, is a long way from what seems to me the continuing arguableness of determinism and the unavoidableness of the proposition that both incompatibilism and compatibilism about freedom are false. But we all need to remember, with Cromwell, in our own bowels if not by those of Christ, that we may be mistaken. I guess that given the proportion of false to true views in the world, we need to remember it is arguable that we are more likely to be mistaken
McCall, Storrs (1984). Freedom defined as the power to decide. American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (October):329-38.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Mccall, Storrs & Lowe, E. J. (2005). Indeterminist free will. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):681–690.   (Google | More links)
Mccall, Storrs & Lowe, E. J. (2008). The determinists have run out of luck—for a good reason. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):745-748.   (Google | More links)
McCann, Hugh J. (1998). The Works of Agency: On Human Action, Will, and Freedom. Cornell University Press.   (Cited by 40 | Google)
Abstract: In these essays, Hugh J. McCann develops a unified perspective on human action. Written over a period of twenty-five years, the essays provide a comprehensive survey of the major topics in contemporary action theory. In four sections, the book addresses the ontology of action; the foundations of action; intention, will, and freedom; and practical rationality. McCann works out a compromise between competing perspectives on the individuation of action; explores the foundations of action and defends a volitional theory; argues for a libertarian view of both the formation and the execution of intention; and considers the question of consistency in rational intentions, as well as the relationship between practical and theoretical reasoning. Among the original features of McCann's work are his defense of both fine- and coarse-grained actions and his arguments for a noncausal theory of the relation between intention and action. He also suggests that intentions need not be consistent, either with each other or with beliefs about success. And he contends that intention formation is an intrinsically ratiocinative procedure, distinct from reasoning about what action would be best.
Mele, Alfred R. (2006). Free Will and Luck. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Mele's ultimate purpose in this book is to help readers think more clearly about free will. He identifies and makes vivid the most important conceptual obstacles to justified belief in the existence of free will and meets them head on. Mele clarifies the central issues in the philosophical debate about free will and moral responsibility, criticizes various influential contemporary theories about free will, and develops two overlapping conceptions of free will--one for readers who are convinced that free will is incompatible with determinism (incompatibilists), and the other for readers who are convinced of the opposite (compatibilists). Luck poses problems for all believers in free will, and Mele offers novel solutions to those problems--one for incompatibilist believers in free will and the other for compatibilists. An early chapter of this empirically well-informed book clearly explains influential neuroscientific studies of free will and debunks some extravagant interpretations of the data. Other featured topics include abilities and alternative possibilities, control and decision-making, the bearing of manipulation on free will, and the development of human infants into free agents. Mele's theory offers an original perspective on an important problem and will garner the attention of anyone interested in the debate on free will
Mele, Alfred R. (2007). Free will and luck. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):153 – 155.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Mele's ultimate purpose in this book is to help readers think more clearly about free will. He identifies and makes vivid the most important conceptual obstacles to justified belief in the existence of free will and meets them head on. Mele clarifies the central issues in the philosophical debate about free will and moral responsibility, criticizes various influential contemporary theories about free will, and develops two overlapping conceptions of free will--one for readers who are convinced that free will is incompatible with determinism (incompatibilists), and the other for readers who are convinced of the opposite (compatibilists). Luck poses problems for all believers in free will, and Mele offers novel solutions to those problems--one for incompatibilist believers in free will and the other for compatibilists. An early chapter of this empirically well-informed book clearly explains influential neuroscientific studies of free will and debunks some extravagant interpretations of the data. Other featured topics include abilities and alternative possibilities, control and decision-making, the bearing of manipulation on free will, and the development of human infants into free agents. Mele's theory offers an original perspective on an important problem and will garner the attention of anyone interested in the debate on free will
Mele, Alfred R. (1999). Kane, luck, and the significance of free will. Philosophical Explorations 2 (2):96-104.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper raises a pair of objections to the novel libertarian position advanced in Robert Kane's recent book, The Significance of Free Will.The first objection's target is a central element in Kane's intriguing response to what he calls the "Intelligibility" and "Existence" questions about free will. It is argued that this response is undermined by considerations of luck.The second objection is directed at a portion of Kane's answer to what he calls "The Significance Question" about free will: "Why do we, or should we, want to possess a free will that is incompatible with determinism? Is it a kind of freedom 'worth wanting'... and, if so, why?" A desire for "objective worth" has a featured role in his answer. However, a compatibilist can have that desire
Mele, Alfred R. (2005). Libertarianism, luck, and control. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):381-407.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Mele, Alfred R. (2007). Review of John Searle, Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (3).   (Google)
Mele, Alfred R. (1998). Review of Robert Kane's The Significance of Free Will. The Journal of Philosophy 95 (11):581-584.   (Google)
Mele, Alfred R. (1996). Soft libertarianism and Frankfurt-style scenarios. Philosophical Topics 24:123-41.   (Cited by 16 | Google)
Monroe, Andrew E. & Malle, Bertram F. (2010). From uncaused will to conscious choice: The need to study, not speculate about people's folk concept of free will. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: People’s concept of free will is often assumed to be incompatible with the deterministic, scientific model of the universe. Indeed, many scholars treat the folk concept of free will as assuming a special form of nondeterministic causation, possibly the notion of uncaused causes. However, little work to date has directly probed individuals’ beliefs about what it means to have free will. The present studies sought to reconstruct this folk concept of free will by asking people to define the concept (Study 1) and by confronting them with a neuroscientific claim that free will is an illusion (Study 2), which invited them to either reconcile or contrast free will with determinism. The results suggest that the core of people’s concept of free will is a choice that fulfills one’s desires and is free from internal or external constraints. No evidence was found for metaphysical assumptions about dualism or indeterminism.
Moreland, James P. (2002). Timothy O'Connor and the harmony thesis: A critique. Metaphysica 3 (2):5-40.   (Google)
Murphy, Nancey C. (2007). Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Introduction: New approaches to knotty old problems -- Avoiding Cartesian materialism -- From causal reductionism to self-directed systems -- From mindless to intelligent action -- How can neural nets mean? -- How does reason get its grip on the brain? -- Who's responsible? -- Neurobiological reductionism and free will.
Nelkin, Dana K. (2007). Good luck to libertarians. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):173 – 184.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this review essay on Mele's Free Will and Luck, I evaluate the 'daring soft libertarian' view presented in the heart of the book, and in particular the way that it provides an answer to the objection that introducing indeterminism into one's view of freedom merely adds an element of luck and so undermines freedom. I also compare the view's strengths and weaknesses to those of traditional libertarian views. Finally, I consider the 'zygote' argument that Mele takes to be his reason for remaining agnostic about whether determinism is compatible with freedom, and argue that if one accepts the main arguments presented earlier in the book, one should not let this argument stand in the way of accepting compatibilism
Nelkin, Dana K. (2001). The consequence argument and the "mind" argument. Analysis 61 (2):107-115.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Nowell-Smith, P. H. (1954). Determinists and libertarians. Mind 63 (July):317-337.   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy (ed.) (1995). Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 29 | Google)
Abstract: 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 accounts and to the range of theoretical avenues for pursuing resolutions. The first four essays set out different challenges (from both compatibilists and those skeptical of the possibility of free will) to the adequacy of standard indeterministic theories. The next seven essays meet one or more of these challenges. Each of the fundamental types of approach--simple indeterminism, causal indeterminism, and agent causation--is represented in these novel and sophisticated proposals. The collection finishes with two essays that debate whether compatibilism entails that freedom of choice is a comparatively rare phenomenon within an individual's life. Eloquently presenting some of the most compelling and accessible arguments surrounding this central philosophical issue, Agents, Causes, and Events makes a valuable contribution to courses in free will/action theory and metaphysics
O'Connor, Timothy (2005). Freedom With a Human Face. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29:207-227.   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy (1993). Indeterminism and free agency: Three recent views. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):499-26.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Abstract: 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 obtain under the assumption of indeterminism. Despair over the prospect of giving a satisfactory answer to this question has led some contemporary philosophers to a position rarely, if ever, held in the history of philosophy: free, responsible action is an incoherent concept.2
O'Connor, Timothy (1997). Is Free Will Just Another Chaotic Process? (Review of Three Books). Times Literary Supplement (Dec.5).   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy (2002). Libertarian views: Dualist and agent-causal theories. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy & Churchill, John (2006). Reasons Explanation And Agent Control: In Search Of An Integrated Account. Philosophical Topics 32:241-256.   (Google)
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Pettit, Gordon (2002). Are we rarely free? A response to restrictivism. Philosophical Studies 107 (3):219-237.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Arguments for Restrictivism – the position that we are rarely free– have been proposed by incompatibilists Peter van Inwagen and David Vander Laan among others. This article is concerned much more with these arguments than with quantifying the frequency of free actions. There are two general ways to argue for restrictivism. First, one may take a Negative Strategy, arguing that the situations in which one is not free are common and predominant. Second, one may focus on situations in which one is apparently free, and argue directly that these situations are rare – the Inventory Strategy. I conclude that both types of arguments for restrictivism are unconvincing
Pink, Thomas (2004). Free Will: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Every day we seem to make and act upon all kinds of free choices: some trivial, others so consequential that they change the course of one's life, or even the course of history. But are these choices really free, or are we compelled to act the way we do by factors beyond our control? Is the feeling that we could have made different decisions just an illusion? And if our choices are not free, is it legitimate to hold people morally responsible for their actions? Pink looks at the fundamental philosophical question of free will, Engaging in discussion of the claim: 'If our actions are causally determined by events beyond our control, that means that we can never act freely, and so can never be held responsible for our actions
Pink, Thomas (1996). The Psychology of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: This book presents a new theory of the will - of our capacity for decision making. The book argues that taking a decision to act is something we do, and do freely - as much an action as the actions which our decisions explain - and that our freedom of action depends on this capacity for free decision-making. But decision-making is no ordinary action. Decisions to act also have a special executive function, that of ensuring the rationality of the further actions which they explain. This executive function makes decision-making an action importantly unlike any other, with its own distinctive rationality. Pink's original and highly persuasive study uses this theory of the will to provide new accounts of freedom, action and rational choice. The author argues that, in a tradition that runs from Hobbes to Davidson and Frankfurt, Anglo-American philosophy has misrepresented the common-sense psychology of our freedom and action - a psychology which this book now presents and defends
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Schlosser, Markus E. (2008). Review of "Freedom and neurobiology: Reflections on free will, language, and political power", by John R. Searle. Mind 117 (468):1127-30.   (Google)
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Abstract: In this article I try to refute the so-called "libertarian" theory of free will, and to examine how our conclusion ought to modify our common attitudes of praise and blame. In attacking the libertarian view, I shall try to show that it cannot be consistently stated. That is, my dscussion will be an "analytic-philosophic" one. I shall neglect what I think is in practice an equally powerful method of attack on the libertarian: a challenge to state his theory in such a way that it will fit in the modern biology and psychology, which are becoming increasingly physicalistic.
Smilansky, Saul (2000). Free Will and Illusion. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 37 | Google)
Abstract: Saul Smilansky presents an original new approach to the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and self-understanding. He maintains that the key to the problem is the role played by illusion. Smilansky boldly claims that we could not live adequately with a complete awareness of the truth about human freedom and that illusion lies at the center of the human condition
Smilansky, Saul (1990). Is libertarian free will worth wanting? Philosophical Investigations 13 (3):273-76.   (Google)
Smith, Donald, The fall of the mind argument and some lessons about.   (Google)
Abstract: The so-called Mind argument is the most pressing objection to libertarianism—the view that freedom exists and is incompatible with determinism. In this paper, we develop a new objection to the Mind argument that has several significant ramifications for the metaphysics of freedom
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Thorp, John (1980). Free Will: A Defense Against Neurophysiological Determinism. Routledge.   (Cited by 17 | Google)
Timpe, Kevin (2006). A critique of Frankfurt-libertarianism. Philosophia 34 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action. I briefly argue that this discussion also goes some distance to showing that any Frankfurt-libertarian is in a similar position regarding the need for some PAP-like principle. If I am correct, then Frankfurt-libertarians must either renounce their incompatibilism or concede that FSCs fail to show all PAP-like principles to be false
van Inwagen, Peter (1983). An Essay on Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 206 | Google | More links)
Abstract: "This is an important book, and no one interested in issues which touch on the free will will want to ignore it."--Ethics. In this stimulating and thought-provoking book, the author defends the thesis that free will is incompatible with determinism. He disputes the view that determinism is necessary for moral responsbility. Finding no good reason for accepting determinism, but believing moral responsiblity to be indubitable, he concludes that determinism should be rejected
van Inwagen, Peter (2000). Free will remains a mystery. Philosophical Perspectives 14:1-20.   (Cited by 41 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper has two parts. In the first part, I concede an error in an argument I have given for the incompatibility of free will and determinism. I go on to show how to modify my argument so as to avoid this error, and conclude that the thesis that free will and determinism are compatible continues to be—to say the least—implausible. But if free will is incompatible with determinism, we are faced with a mystery, for free will undeniably exists, and it also seems to be incompatible with indeterminism. In the second part of this paper, I will defend the conclusion that the concept of agent causation is of no use to the philosopher who wants to maintain that free will and indeterminism are compatible. I conclude that free will remains a mystery---that is, that free will undeniably exists and that there is a strong and unanswered prima facie case for its impossibility.
van Inwagen, Peter (unknown). Free will remains a mystery: The eighth philosophical perspectives lecture. .   (Google)
van Inwagen, Peter (online). On free will.   (Google)
van Inwagen, Peter (1998). The mystery of metaphysical freedom. In Van Inwagen, P.; Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Abstract: _This is an account of his present thinking by an excellent philosopher who has been_ _among the two or three foremost defenders of the doctrine that determinism and_ _freedom are incompatible -- that logically we cannot have both. In his 1983 book,_ _An Essay on Free Will_ _, he laid out with unique clarity and force a fundamental_ _argument for this conclusion. What the argument comes to is that if determinism is_ _true, we are not free, since our actions are effects of causal circumstances in the_ _remote past, and those circumstances are certainly not up to us. To that line of_ _thought, in the article below, by way of the supposition of a world of angels, he adds_ _something new. This is a fundamental difficulty with the freedom that we cannot_ _have if determinism is true. The difficulty, indeed a mystery, is one having to do with_ _the opposite of determinism -- indeterminism._
van Inwagen, Peter (2004). Van Inwagen on free will. In Freedom and Determinism. Cambridge MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
van Inwagen, Peter (1994). When the will is not free. Philosophical Studies 75 (1-2):95-113.   (Cited by 17 | Google)
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
von Wachter, Daniel (2003). Free agents as cause. In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.   (Google | More links)
Wekstrom, Laura (2008). Free will and luck - by Alfred Mele. Philosophical Books 49 (1):71-73.   (Google)
Widerker, David (2006). Libertarianism and the philosophical significance of Frankfurt scenarios. Journal of Philosophy 103 (4):163-187.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Widerker, David (2002). Responsibility and Frankfurt-type examples. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Winter, Mr Blake (ms). On incompatibilist free will.   (Google)
Abstract: We consider the possibility of defining some kind of activity which meets the intuitive requirements of incompatibilist free will. Our analysis of this will be done in a fashion which in some ways parallels the work of Pink on this matter. We will then consider the evidence of such free will, both from an introspective perspective and from a scientific perspective. In the latter we consider neurological and psychological evidence
Zagzebski, Linda (2000). Does libertarian freedom require alternate possibilities? Philosopical Perspectives 14:231-248.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)