Philosophia 47 (2):435-458 (2019)

Abstract
I argue that free will is a nominal construct developed and deployed post hoc in an effort to provide cohesive narratives in support of a priori moral-judgmental dispositions. In a reversal of traditional course, I defend the view that there are no circumstances under which attributions of moral responsibility for an act can, should, or do depend on prior ascriptions of free will. Conversely, I claim that free will belief depends entirely on the apperceived possibility of moral responsibility. Orthodoxy dictates an agency-first thesis, according to which free will is necessarily antecedent to moral responsibility. However, I present a number of arguments against this view, and in favor of an agency-last stance, according to which the concept of free will is dependent upon that of moral responsibility. I provide further support for my case in the form of new empirical evidence regarding the stable mode of inference used to attribute free will across moral contexts. These experimental results can be interpreted to imply the deflation of one of the longest-standing veridical paradoxes in experimental philosophy. Furthermore, the sole conceptual scheme found to be capable of modeling the experimental results is also capable of illuminating several classic works in the analytic philosophy of moral agency.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-018-9987-4
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829.

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