Philosophia 44 (3):793-808 (2016)

Sofia M.I. Jeppsson
Umeå University
There are powerful arguments for free will scepticism. However, it seems obvious that some of our actions are done of our own free will. It has been argued that we can solve this puzzle by giving ‘free’ a contextualist analysis. In everyday contexts we are often allowed to ignore sceptical arguments, and can truly say that we acted freely. In the more demanding context of philosophy, it is true that we never do anything freely. Our freedom is elusive; it escapes us as soon as sceptical arguments are brought up. This kind of freedom contextualism has been criticized for conceding too much to the sceptic. Furthermore, it has problematic implications for moral responsibility. I develop an alternative contextualist analysis of ‘free’, according to which it is proper in certain contexts to ignore sceptical arguments even if they are brought up. Ignoring them is proper when doing so is necessary for engaging in an activity that is obviously justified. I argue that engaging in deliberation and inter-agential interaction with other people are obviously justified activities that require ignoring sceptical arguments. In these contexts, we do have a non-elusive kind of freedom.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-016-9734-7
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
1. Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - In John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (eds.), Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. Cornell University Press. pp. 1-25.
Contextualism, Skepticism, and the Structure of Reasons.Stewart Cohen - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:57-89.

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