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Summary This category is used for topics that have not been a focus of major attention in the free will debate and which therefore do not have categories of their own devoted to them. 
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464 found
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  1. Gradations of Volition: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens CSsR.Robert Allen - manuscript
    I demonstrate here that St. Anselm”s understanding of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle”s four causes are first aligned with Anselm”s four senses of “will”. The volitional hierarchy Anselm”s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudaimonism. The summum bonum turns out to be the apex of that series of actualizations or perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his analog of Aristotle’s essence-accident distinction.
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  2. Heavenly "Freedom" in Fourteenth-Century Voluntarism.Eric W. Hagedorn - manuscript
    [Work in progress.] According to standard late medieval Christian thought, humans in heaven are unable to sin, having been “confirmed” in their goodness; and, nevertheless, are more free than humans are in the present life. The rise of voluntarist conceptions of the will in the late thirteenth century made it increasingly difficult to hold onto both claims. Peter Olivi suggested that the impeccability of the blessed was dependent upon a special activity of God upon their wills and argued that this (...)
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  3. Love and Free Will.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Many think that love would be a casualty of free will skepticism. I disagree. I argue that love would be largely unaffected if we came to deny free will, not simply because we cannot shake the attitude, but because love is not chosen, nor do we want it to be. Here, I am not alone; others have reached similar conclusions. But a few important distinctions have been overlooked. Even if hard incompatibilism is true, not all love is equal. Although we (...)
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  4. Oxford Handbook of Early modern Philosophy.Desmonde Clarke Catherine Wilson (ed.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  5. Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns.Kevin Timpe Dan Speak (ed.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  6. Hegel’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem: a Conceptual Oversight and Its Implications for Legal Theory.Robert Donoghue - forthcoming - Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences.
    Robert Donoghue ABSTRACT: G.W.F Hegel offers a thorough, complex, and unique theory of free will in the Philosophy of Right. In what follows, I argue that Hegel’s conceptualization of free will makes the mistake of collapsing the possibility of organic freedom into the potential for moral freedom ….
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  7. Free Will and the Moral Vice Explanation of Hell's Finality.Robert J. Hartman - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    According to the Free Will Explanation of a traditional view of hell, human freedom explains why some people are in hell. It also explains hell’s punishment and finality: persons in hell have freely developed moral vices that are their own punishment and that make repentance psychologically impossible. So, even though God continues to desire reconciliation with persons in hell, damned persons do not want reconciliation with God. But this moral vice explanation of hell’s finality is implausible. I argue that God (...)
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  8. Bruce N. Waller, Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and the Desire to Be a God, (Lexington Books), 2020.Andreas Kuersten - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-3.
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  9. Plotinus, Ennead VI.8: On the Voluntary and on the Free Will of the One, edited by Kevin Corrigan and John D. Turner.Péter Lautner - forthcoming - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition.
  10. The naturalistic case for free will.Christian List - forthcoming - In Stavros Ioannidis, Gal Vishne, Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker (eds.), Levels of Reality in Science and Philosophy. Cham: Springer.
    The aim of this expository paper is to give an informal overview of a plausible naturalistic case for free will. I will describe what I take to be the main naturalistically motivated challenges for free will and respond to them by presenting an indispensability argument for free will. The argument supports the reality of free will as an emergent higher-level phenomenon. I will also explain why the resulting picture of free will does not conflict with the possibility that the fundamental (...)
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  11. Responsibility, Free Will, and the Concept of Basic Desert.Leonhard Menges - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Many philosophers characterize a particularly important sense of free will and responsibility by referring to basically deserved blame. But what is basically deserved blame? The aim of this paper is to identify the appraisal entailed by basic desert claims. It presents three desiderata for an account of desert appraisals and it argues that important recent theories fail to meet them. Then, the paper presents and defends a promising alternative. The basic idea is that claims about basically deserved blame entail that (...)
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  12. Do people understand determinism? The tracking problem for measuring free will beliefs.Samuel Murray, Elise Dykhuis & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy.
    Experimental work on free will typically relies on deterministic stimuli to elicit judgments of free will. We call this the Vignette-Judgment model. We outline a problem with research based on this model. It seems that people either fail to respond to the deterministic aspects of vignettes when making judgments or that their understanding of determinism differs from researcher expectations. We provide some empirical evidence for this claim. In the end, we argue that people seem to lack facility with the concept (...)
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  13. Piercing the smoke screen: Dualism, free will, and Christianity.Samuel Murray, Elise Dykhuis & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Journal of Cognition and Culture.
    Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: (1) a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, (2) that people (...)
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  14. Foundational Grounding and Creaturely Freedom.Kenneth L. Pearce - forthcoming - Mind:fzab024.
    According to classical theism, the universe depends on God in a way that goes beyond mere (efficient) causation. I have previously argued that this ‘deep dependence’ of the universe on God is best understood as a type of grounding. In a recent paper in this journal, Aaron Segal argues that this doctrine of deep dependence causes problems for creaturely free will: if our choices are grounded in facts about God, and we have no control over these facts, then we do (...)
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  15. Dependence, Transcendence, and Creaturely Freedom: On the Incompatibility of Three Theistic Doctrines.Aaron Segal - forthcoming - Mind.
    In this paper I argue for the incompatibility of three claims, each of them quite attractive to a theist. First, the doctrine of deep dependence: the universe depends for its existence, in a non-causal way, on God. Second, the doctrine of true transcendence: the universe is wholly distinct from God; God is separate and apart from the universe in respect of mereology, modes, and mentality. Third, the doctrine of robust creaturely freedom: some creature performs some act such that he could (...)
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  16. Richard Kilvington talks to Thomas Bradwardine about future contingents, free will, and predestination: a critical edition of Question 4 from Quaestiones super libros Sententiarum.Richard Kilvington - 2023 - Boston: Brill.
    Richard Kilvington (ca. 1302-1361) was one of the most original and influential thinkers among the Oxford Calculators. His impact on late medieval philosophy and theology remains unquestionable. His physical, logical, and ethical solutions were extensively debated and referred to, paving the way for new approaches in philosophy and theology. This volume presents a critical edition of question 4 from Kilvington's Quaestiones super libros Sententiarum, complete with an introduction to the edition and a guide to Kilvington's theological concepts.
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  17. Free Will and A Clockwork Orange.Sara Bizarro - 2022 - Ethical Perspectives 29 (2):171-195.
    This article looks at the film A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick 1971) through the lenses of the free will debate. The main argument proposed is that the film exemplifies a view of free will that I call polythetic. This view says that free will needs to be understood as containing several criteria that allow us to see an action as more or less free, but none of the characteristics is essential for an action to be classified as free. In this view, (...)
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  18. A Companion to Free Will.Joseph Campbell, Kristin M. Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.) - 2022 - Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    The concept of free will is fraught with controversy, as readers of this volume likely know. Philosophers disagree about what free will is, whether we have it, what mitigates or destroys it, and what it's good for. Indeed, philosophers even disagree about how to fix the referent of the term 'free will' for purposes of describing and exploring these disagreements. What one person considers a reasonably neutral working definition of 'free will' is often considered question-begging or otherwise misguided by another. (...)
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  19. Precis of Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice.Gregg D. Caruso - 2022 - Journal of Legal Philosophy 2 (46):120-125.
  20. Moral Responsibility Reconsidered.Gregg D. Caruso & Derk Pereboom - 2022 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This Element examines the concept of moral responsibility as it is used in contemporary philosophical debates and explores the justifiability of the moral practices associated with it, including moral praise/blame, retributive punishment, and the reactive attitudes of resentment and indignation. After identifying and discussing several different varieties of responsibility-including causal responsibility, take-charge responsibility, role responsibility, liability responsibility, and the kinds of responsibility associated with attributability, answerability, and accountability-it distinguishes between basic and non-basic desert conceptions of moral responsibility and considers a (...)
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  21. Free Will And The Rebel Angels In Medieval Philosophy. [REVIEW]Bonaventure Chapman - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):137-140.
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  22. Free Will and (In)determinism in Hang the DJ.Taylor Cyr - 2022 - In Amber Bowen & John Anthony Dunne (eds.), Theology and Black Mirror. Lanham, MD: Fortress Academic. pp. 55-65.
    Like most episodes of Black Mirror, “Hang the DJ” raises a host of philosophical questions. While there is much from this episode to explore, this chapter will explore something that has not yet been addressed in other work, namely the connection between “Hang the DJ” and questions about free will and determinism (or indeterminism, as the case may be). This chapter will proceed as follows: first, I will sketch some reasons for thinking that, if determinism is true, then no one (...)
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  23. Davidson and Putnam on the Antinomy of Free Will.Mario De Caro - 2022 - In Sanjit Chakraborty & James Ferguson Conant (eds.), Engaging Putnam. De Gruyter. pp. 249-262.
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  24. Replies to Timmerman and Gorman.John Martin Fischer - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (3):395-414.
    In my reply to the thoughtful comments of Timmerman and Gorman, I take up, and further explore, some main questions, including: Can a horribly immoral person (a moral monster) lead a meaningful life? Similarly, can a significantly deluded person lead a meaningful life? What role do judgments of meaningfulness play in our normative framework? How can we understand the debate between those who would embrace the possibility of immortality and those who would reject it? What is the role of narrativity (...)
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  25. Review of: Laura Ekstrom, God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will. [REVIEW]Perry Hendrix - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (4).
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  26. The ability to do otherwise and the new dispositionalism.Romy Jaster - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (9):1149-1166.
    According to the New Dispositionalist’s response to the Frankfurt Cases, Jones can do otherwise because Black merely masks (or finks), but does not deprive Jones of the relevant ability. This reasoning stands in the tradition of a line of thought according to which an informed view of the truth conditions of ability attributions allows for a compatibilist stance. The promise is that once we understand how abilities work, it turns out that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with determinism, (...)
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  27. God’s Prime Directive: Non-Interference and Why There Is No (Viable) Free Will Defense.David Kyle Johnson - 2022 - Religions 13 (9).
    In a recent book and article, James Sterba has argued that there is no free will defense. It is the purpose of this article to show that, in the most technical sense, he is wrong. There is a version of the free will defense that can solve what Sterba (rightly) takes to be the most interesting and severe version of the logical problem of moral evil. However, I will also argue that, in effect (or, we might say, in practice), Sterba (...)
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  28. Grace and Free Will on Quiescence and Avoiding Semi-Pelagianism.Simon Kittle - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (4):70-95.
    Several recent incompatibilist accounts of divine grace and human free will have appealed to the notion of quiescence in an attempt to avoid semi-Pelagianism while retaining the fallen person’s control over coming to faith and thus the agent’s responsibility for failing to come to faith. In this essay I identify three distinct roles that quiescence has been employed to play in the recent literature. I outline how an account of divine grace and human free will may employ quiescence to play (...)
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  29. A puzzle about the fixity of the past.Fabio Lampert - 2022 - Analysis 82 (3):426-434.
    It is a widely held principle that no one is able to do something that would require the past to have been different from how it actually is. This principle of the fixity of the past has been presented in numerous ways, playing a crucial role in arguments for logical and theological fatalism, and for the incompatibility of causal determinism and the ability to do otherwise. I will argue that, assuming bivalence, this principle is in conflict with standard views about (...)
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  30. Free Will Ruled by Reason: Pufendorf on Moral Value and Moral Estimation.Katerina Mihaylova - 2022 - Intellectual History Review 32 (1):71-87.
    Pufendorf makes a clear distinction between the physical constitution of human beings and their value as human beings, stressing that the latter is justified exclusively by the regular use of the free will. According to Pufendorf, the regular use of free will requires certain inventions (divine as well as human) imposed on the free will and called moral entities. He claims that these inventions determine the moral quality of a human being as well as the standards according to which human (...)
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  31. Defending the Free Will Defense: A Reply to Sterba.Luis Oliveira - 2022 - Religions 13 (11):1126-1138.
    James Sterba has recently argued that the free will defense fails to explain the compossibility of a perfect God and the amount and degree of moral evil that we see. I think he is mistaken about this. I thus find myself in the awkward and unexpected position, as a non-theist myself, of defending the free will defense. In this paper, I will try to show that once we take care to focus on what the free will defense is trying to (...)
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  32. A republic for all sentients: Social freedom without free will.Eze Paez - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (3):620-644.
    Most nonhuman animals live on the terms imposed on them by human beings. This condition of being under the mastery of another, or domination, is what republicanism identifies as political unfreedom. Yet there are several problems that must be solved in order to successfully extend republicanism to animals. Here I focus on the question of whether freedom can be a benefit for individuals without a free will. I argue that once we understand the grounds that make freedom a desirable property (...)
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  33. Free Will and the Rebel Angels in Medieval Philosophy.Robert Pasnau - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (2):222-226.
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  34. Free Will and Human Agency: 50 Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Thought Experiments.Garrett Pendergraft - 2022 - Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Thought Experiments in Philosophy.
    In this new kind of entrée to discussions of free will and human agency, Pendergraft illuminates 50 puzzles, paradoxes, and thought experiments. Assuming no familiarity with the topic, each chapter describes a case, explains the questions that it raises, summarizes some of the key responses, and provides suggested readings.
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  35. The Principle of Sufficient Reason and Libertarianism: A Critique of Pruss.Brandon Rdzak - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):201-216.
    Alexander Pruss’s Principle of Sufficient Reason states that every contingent true proposition has an explanation. Pruss thinks that he can plausibly maintain both his PSR and his account of libertarian free will. This is because his libertarianism has it that contingent true propositions reporting free choices are self-explanatory. But I don’t think Pruss can plausibly maintain both his PSR and libertarianism without a rift occurring in one or the other. Similar to the old luck/randomness objection, I contend that Pruss’s libertarianism (...)
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  36. What does it mean to inhibit an Action? A Critical Discussion of Benjamin Libet’s Veto in a Recent Study.Robert Reimer - 2022 - Software Engineering and Formal Methods. SEFM 2021 Collocated Workshops. SEFM 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 13230.
    In the 1980s, physiologist Benjamin Libet conducted a series of ex-periments to test whether the will is free. Whilst he originally assumed that the will functions like an immaterial initiator of cerebral processes culminating in actions, he later began to think that it rather works like an immaterial veto inhib-iting unwanted actions by preventing unconsciously initiated cerebral processes from unfolding. Libet’s veto was widely criticized for its Cartesian dualist and interactionist implications. However, in 2016, Schultze-Kraft et al. adopted Libet’s idea (...)
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  37. Saving Eternity (and Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will): A Reply to Hasker.Katherin Rogers - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):79-89.
    William Hasker and I disagree over whether or not appealing to a particular understanding of divine eternity can reconcile divine foreknowledge with libertarian human freedom. Hasker argues that if God had foreknowledge of a particular future choice, that choice cannot be free with libertarian freedom. I hold, to the contrary, that, given a certain theory of time—the view that all times exist equally—it is possible to reconcile divine foreknowledge with libertarian freedom. In a recent article, “Can Eternity be Saved? A (...)
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  38. The Openness of God: Hasker on Eternity and Free Will.Eleonore Stump - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):91-106.
    The understanding of God’s mode of existence as eternal makes a significant difference to a variety of issues in contemporary philosophy of religion, including, for instance, the apparent incompatibility of divine omniscience with human freedom. But the concept has come under attack in current philosophical discussion as inefficacious to solve the philosophical puzzles for which it seems so promising. Although Boethius in the early 6th century thought that the concept could resolve the apparent incompatibility between divine foreknowledge and human free (...)
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  39. God and the Value of Free Will.Luke Teeninga - 2022 - Sophia 61 (3):643-657.
    It is standard practice to appeal to libertarian free will to explain how God’s existence might be compatible with much of the evil we see in the actual world. Libertarian free will has also been important to certain responses to the argument for atheism from divine hiddenness. But what is often neglected in appealing to libertarian free will, as others have pointed out, is an explanation of why God would create us with such free will in the first place. Laura (...)
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  40. Theological Perspectives on Free Will: Compatibility, Christology, and Community.Olli-Pekka Vainio & Aku Visala (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    Free will is a perennial theological and philosophical topic. As a central dogmatic locus, it is implicated in discussions around core Christian doctrines such as grace, salvation, sin, providence, evil and predestination. This book offers a state-of-the-art look at recent debates about free will in analytic and philosophical theology. The chapters revolve around three central themes: the debate between theological compatibilists and libertarians, the communal nature of Christian freedom, and the role of free will in Christology. With contributions by leading (...)
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  41. Across the Confessional Divide: Johannes Hoornbeeck, José de Acosta, and the Role of Force and Free Will in the Development of a Reformed Missiology.Floris Verhaart - 2022 - Journal of the History of Ideas 83 (4):629-642.
    Abstract:This article seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between Catholic and Protestant theories of mission by examining the influence of the Jesuit José de Acosta on the De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669), one of the first comprehensive handbooks of Protestant missiology, written by Johannes Hoornbeeck. It is demonstrated that Acosta's Thomist emphasis on the willing acceptance of a new faith made his ideas particularly attractive to Hoornbeeck and are the reason why the latter preferred Jesuit (...)
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  42. Do We Have Free Will?Coco Zhang - 2022 - Questions 22:5-6.
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  43. Do We Have Free Will?Coco Zhang - 2022 - Questions 22:5-6.
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  44. Must God Create the Best Available Creatures?Mark J. Boone - 2021 - Philosophia Christi 23 (2):271-289.
    J. L. Mackie distinguished himself in twentieth-century philosophy by presenting an important objection to the traditional free will explanation for why God would allow evil: If evil is due to the free choice of creatures, why wouldn’t an omnipotent God simply create free creatures who would choose better? Alvin Plantinga, in turn, distinguished himself with his critique of Mackie. Plantinga’s main point is that Mackie made a mistake in assuming that it is within the power of omnipotence fully to create (...)
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  45. Free actions as a natural kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. My view (...)
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  46. Hegel’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem.Robert Donoghue - 2021 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 8 (2):155-174.
    G.W.F. Hegel offers a thorough, complex, and unique theory of free will in the Philosophy of Right. In what follows, I argue that Hegel’s conceptualization of free will makes the mistake of collapsing the possibility of organic freedom into the potential for moral freedom. This article engages in three distinct tasks in making this argument. First, I provide a critical overview of Hegel’s conception of free will – namely, how he envisages the movement from the abstract, incomplete, and undeveloped will, (...)
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  47. God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will.Laura W. Ekstrom - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
    "This book focuses on arguments from suffering against the existence of God and on a variety of issues concerning agency and value that they bring out. The central aim is to show the extent and power of arguments from evil. The book provides a close investigation of an under-defended claim at the heart of the major free-will-based responses to such arguments, namely that free will is sufficiently valuable to serve as the good, or prominently among the goods, that provides a (...)
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  48. Free Will and the Rebel Angels in Medieval Philosophy.Tobias Hoffmann - 2021 - New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
    In this book Tobias Hoffmann studies the medieval free will debate during its liveliest period, from the 1220s to the 1320s, and clarifies its background in Aristotle, Augustine, and earlier medieval thinkers. Among the wide range of authors he examines are not only well-known thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham, but also a number of authors who were just as important in their time and deserve to be rediscovered today. To shed further light on their (...)
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  49. Reasons‐sensitivity and degrees of free will.Alex Kaiserman - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):687-709.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 103, Issue 3, Page 687-709, November 2021.
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  50. What Freedom in a Deterministic World Must Be.Brian Looper - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):863-885.
    Contrary to Lewis and Vihvelin, I argue that free will in a deterministic world is an ability to break a law of nature or to change the remote past. Even if it were true, as Lewis and Vihvelin think, that an agent who is predetermined to perform a particular act might not break a law or change the remote past by doing otherwise, it would nevertheless be true that he is able to do otherwise only if he is able to (...)
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