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  1. Agential capacities: a capacity to guide.Denis Buehler - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):21-47.
    In paradigm exercises of agency, individuals guide their activities toward some goal. A central challenge for action theory is to explain how individuals guide. This challenge is an instance of the more general problem of how to accommodate individuals and their actions in the natural world, as explained by natural science. Two dominant traditions–primitivism and the causal theory–fail to address the challenge in a satisfying way. Causal theorists appeal to causation by an intention, through a feedback mechanism, in explaining guidance. (...)
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  • In Defense of Non-Causal Libertarianism.David Widerker - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):1-14.
    Non-Causal Libertarianism (NCL) is a libertarian position which aims to provide a non-causal account of action and freedom to do otherwise. NCL has been recently criticized from a number of quarters, notably from proponents of free will skepticism and agent-causation. The main complaint that has been voiced against NCL is that it does not provide a plausible account of an agent’s control over her action, and therefore, the account of free action it offers is inadequate. Some critics (mainly agent-causationists) have (...)
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  • Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that we are morally responsible are not quite this dramatic. Giving up the belief that (...)
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  • Free Will, Agent Causation, and “Disappearing Agents”.Randolph Clarke - 2017 - Noûs:76-96.
    A growing number of philosophers now hold that agent causation is required for agency, or free will, or moral responsibility. To clarify what is at issue, this paper begins with a distinction between agent causation that is ontologically fundamental and agent causation that is reducible to or realized in causation by events or states. It is widely accepted that agency presents us with the latter; the view in question claims a need for the former. The paper then examines a “disappearing (...)
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  • Analysing Causation.Morgan Jennifer Margaret - unknown
    This thesis will survey several prominent approaches to analysing causation, discuss their differences and similarities, and look at a number of problems which are common to all of them. I will be arguing for the following claims about how we should approach the process of analysing causation. Firstly, I will be arguing that a reductive analysis is desirable, since if we can reductively analyse causation in terms of something empirically accessible, we can explain how it is possible to know anything (...)
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  • On Alfred Mele's Free Will and Luck.Derk Pereboom - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):163 – 172.
    I argue that agent-causal libertarianism has a strong initial rejoinder to Mele's luck argument against it, but that his claim that it has yet to be explained how agent-causation yields responsibility-conferring control has significant force. I suggest an avenue of response. Subsequently, I raise objections to Mele's criticisms of my four-case manipulation argument against compatibilism.
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  • Recent Work on Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Neil Levy & Michael McKenna - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):96-133.
    In this article we survey six recent developments in the philosophical literature on free will and moral responsibility: (1) Harry Frankfurt's argument that moral responsibility does not require the freedom to do otherwise; (2) the heightened focus upon the source of free actions; (3) the debate over whether moral responsibility is an essentially historical concept; (4) recent compatibilist attempts to resurrect the thesis that moral responsibility requires the freedom to do otherwise; (5) the role of the control condition in free (...)
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  • Historical Moral Responsibility: Is The Infinite Regress Problem Fatal?Eric Christian Barnes - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4):533-554.
    Some compatibilists have responded to the manipulation argument for incompatibilism by proposing an historical theory of moral responsibility which, according to one version, requires that agents be morally responsible for having their pro-attitudes if they are to be morally responsible for acting on them. This proposal, however, leads obviously to an infinite regress problem. I consider a proposal by Haji and Cuypers that addresses this problem and argue that it is unsatisfactory. I then go on to propose a new solution (...)
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  • Undetermined Choices, Luck and the Enhancement Problem.Nadine Elzein - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    If indeterminism is to be necessary for moral responsibility, we must show that it doesn’t preclude responsibility and that it might enhance it. A ‘strong luck claim’ motivates the Luck Problem: if an agent’s choice is undetermined, then her mental life will be causally irrelevant to her choice, whichever way she decides. A ‘weak luck claim’ motivates the Enhancement Problem: if an agent’s choice is undetermined, then even if her mental life is causally relevant to her choice, whichever way she (...)
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  • Freedom and Chance.Mark Wulff Carstensen - unknown
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  • Heidegger and Dilthey: Language, History, and Hermeneutics.Eric S. Nelson - 2014 - In Megan Altman Hans Pedersen (ed.), Horizons of Authenticity in Phenomenology, Existentialism, and Moral Psychology. springer. pp. 109-128.
    The hermeneutical tradition represented by Yorck, Heidegger, and Gadamer has distrusted Dilthey as suffering from the two sins of modernism: scientific “positivism” and individualistic and aesthetic “romanticism.” On the one hand, Dilthey’s epistemology is deemed scientistic in accepting the priority of the empirical, the ontic, and consequently scientific inquiry into the physical, biological, and human worlds; on the other hand, his personalist ethos and Goethean humanism, and his pluralistic life- and worldview philosophy are considered excessively aesthetic, culturally liberal, relativistic, and (...)
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  • The Demand for Contrastive Explanations.Nadine Elzein - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1325-1339.
    A “contrastive explanation” explains not only why some event A occurred, but why A occurred as opposed to some alternative event B. Some philosophers argue that agents could only be morally responsible for their choices if those choices have contrastive explanations, since they would otherwise be “luck infested”. Assuming that contrastive explanations cannot be offered for causally undetermined events, this requirement entails that no one could be held responsible for a causally undetermined choice. Such arguments challenge incompatibilism, since they entail (...)
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  • New Essays on the Metaphysics of Moral Responsibility.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):193 - 201.
    This is the introduction to a volume of new essays in the metaphysics of moral responsibility by John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, Ishtiyaque Haji, Alfred R. Mele, Derk Pereboom, Paul Russell, and Peter van Inwagen. I provide some background for the essays, cover the main debates in the metaphysics of moral responsibility, and emphasize some of the authors' contributions to this area of philosophy.
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  • Event-Causal Libertarianism, Functional Reduction, and the Disappearing Agent Argument.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):413-432.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s freely bringing about a choice is reducible to states and events involving him bringing about the choice. Agent-causal libertarians demur, arguing that free will requires that the agent be irreducibly causally involved. Derk Pereboom and Meghan Griffith have defended agent-causal libertarianism on this score, arguing that since on event-causal libertarianism an agent’s contribution to his choice is exhausted by the causal role of states and events involving him, and since these states and events leave (...)
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  • Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. (Free will is understood here as whatever satisfies the control condition of moral responsibility.) Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that (...)
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  • Experimental Design: Ethics, Integrity and the Scientific Method.Jonathan Lewis - 2020 - In Ron Iphofen (ed.), Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 459-474.
    Experimental design is one aspect of a scientific method. A well-designed, properly conducted experiment aims to control variables in order to isolate and manipulate causal effects and thereby maximize internal validity, support causal inferences, and guarantee reliable results. Traditionally employed in the natural sciences, experimental design has become an important part of research in the social and behavioral sciences. Experimental methods are also endorsed as the most reliable guides to policy effectiveness. Through a discussion of some of the central concepts (...)
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  • Success Semantics: The Sequel.Bence Nanay - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):151-165.
    The aim of this paper is to reinterpret success semantics, a theory of mental content, according to which the content of a belief is fixed by the success conditions of some actions based on this belief. After arguing that in its present form, success semantics is vulnerable to decisive objections, I examine the possibilities of salvaging the core of this proposal. More specifically, I propose that the content of some very simple, but very important, mental states, the immediate mental antecedents (...)
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  • The Disappearing Agent Objection to Event-Causal Libertarianism.Derk Pereboom - 2012 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-11.
    The question I raise is whether Mark Balaguer’s event-causal libertarianism can withstand the disappearing agent objection. The concern is that with the causal role of the events antecedent to a decision already given, nothing settles whether the decision occurs, and so the agent does not settle whether the decision occurs. Thus it would seem that in this view the agent will not have the control in making decisions required for moral responsibility. I examine whether Balaguer’s position has the resources to (...)
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  • Reductionism, Agency and Free Will.Maria Rigato - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (1):107-116.
    In the context of the free will debate, both compatibilists and event-causal libertarians consider that the agent’s mental states and events are what directly causes her decision to act. However, according to the ‘disappearing agent’ objection, if the agent is nothing over and above her physical and mental components, which ultimately bring about her decision, and that decision remains undetermined up to the moment when it is made, then it is a chancy and uncontrolled event. According to agent-causalism, this sort (...)
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  • Events, Agents, and Settling Whether and How One Intervenes.Jason Runyan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1629-1646.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s settling of whether certain states-of-affairs obtain on a particular occasion can be reduced to the causing of events by certain mental events or states, such as certain desires, beliefs and/or intentions. Agent-causal libertarians disagree. A common critique against event-causal libertarian accounts is that the agent’s role of settling matters is left unfilled and the agent “disappears” from such accounts—a problem known as the disappearing agent problem. Recently, Franklin has argued that an “enriched” event-causal account (...)
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  • The People Problem.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - In Gregg D. Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. pp. 141.
    One reason that many philosophers are reluctant to seriously contemplate the possibility that we lack free will seems to be the view that we must believe we have free will if we are to regard each other as persons in the morally deep sense—the sense that involves deontological notions such as human rights. In the contemporary literature, this view is often informed by P.F. Strawson's view that to treat human beings as having free will is to respond to them with (...)
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  • If Anyone Should Be an Agent-Causalist, Then Everyone Should Be an Agent-Causalist.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1101-1131.
    Nearly all defences of the agent-causal theory of free will portray the theory as a distinctively libertarian one — a theory that only libertarians have reason to accept. According to what I call ‘the standard argument for the agent-causal theory of free will’, the reason to embrace agent-causal libertarianism is that libertarians can solve the problem of enhanced control only if they furnish agents with the agent-causal power. In this way it is assumed that there is only reason to accept (...)
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  • Free Will and Modern Science.M. Griffith - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):168-176.
  • Incompatibilist (Nondeterministic) Theories of Free Will.Randolph Clarke & Justin Capes - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To have free will is to have what it takes to act freely. When an agent acts freely—when she exercises her free will—what she does is up to her. A plurality of alternatives is open to her, and she determines which she pursues. When she does, she is an ultimate source or origin of her action. So runs a familiar conception of free will.
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  • Personal Autonomy.Sarah Buss - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To be autonomous is to be a law to oneself; autonomous agents are self-governing agents. Most of us want to be autonomous because we want to be accountable for what we do, and because it seems that if we are not the ones calling the shots, then we cannot be accountable. More importantly, perhaps, the value of autonomy is tied to the value of self-integration. We don't want to be alien to, or at war with, ourselves; and it seems that (...)
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