Don’t panic: Self-authorship without obscure metaphysics1

Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):323-342 (2012)


In this paper I attempt to respond to the worries of the source incompatibilist, and try to sketch a naturalistically plausible, compatibilist notion of self-authorship and control that I believe captures important aspects of the folk intuitions regarding freedom and responsibility. It is my hope to thus offer those moved by source incompatibilist worries a reason not to adopt what P.F. Strawson called “the obscure and panicky metaphysics of Libertarianism” (P. F. Strawson, 1982) or the panic-inducing moral austerity of the hard incompatibilist (Pereboom, 2001). I am well aware that many great minds have sunk their teeth into this problem and have not prevailed, but at the very least, I hope to become clearer on where the sticking points are.

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Adina Roskies
Dartmouth College

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