In Defense of Free Will

Review of Metaphysics 65 (2):377-407 (2011)
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Abstract

Libet considers “positive free voluntary acts” as mere illusions, admitting free will only as Veto. This essay shows seven ways by which we can gain evident knowledge about positive and negative free will, through: (1) the immediate evidence of free will in the cogito, (2) the light of the necessary essence of free will, (3) the experience of moral “oughts” in whose experience freedom is co-given, (4) any denial of human free will entails its assertion or recognition, (5) the objects and subjects of certain acts disclose free will, (6) in a world without free agents there would be no explanation of the beginning of efficient causality, and (7) Veto-power of the will logically presupposes positive free will. Libet’s experiments confirm that the free decision to act at a certain time and the preceding and accompanying free acts make new energy to burst forth in the brain.

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Josef Maria Seifert
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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