- The Oxford Handbook of Free Will
- Introduction: The Contours of Contemporary Free Will Debates
- Recent Work on Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will
- Quantum Physics, Consciousness, and Free Will
- Chaos, Indeterminism, and Free Will
- A Master Argument for Incompatibilism?
- Free Will Remains a Mystery
- Ifs, Cans, and Free Will: The Issues
- Compatibilist Views of Freedom and Responsibility
- Pessimists, Pollyannas, and the New Compatibilism
- Who's Afraid of Determinism? Rethinking Causes and Possibilities
- Frankfurt-Type Examples and Semi-Compatibilism
- Libertarianism and Frankfurt-style Cases
- Responsibility and Frankfurt-type Examples
- Libertarian Views: Dualist and Agent-Causal Theories
- Libertarian Views: Critical Survey of Noncausal and Event-Causal Accounts of Free Agency
- Reasons Explanations of Action: Causalist versus Noncausalist Accounts
- Some Neglected Pathways in the Free Will Labyrinth
- The Bounds of Freedom
- Determinism as True, Both Compatibilism and Incompatibilism as False, and the Real Problem
- Living Without Free Will: The Case for Hard Incompatibilism
- Free Will, Fundamental Dualism, and the Centrality of Illusion
- Metaethics, Metaphilosophy, and Free Will Subjectivism
- Autonomy, Self-Control, and Weakness of Will
- Do We Have Free Will?
- Neurophilosophy of Free Will
Abstract and Keywords
This article surveys recent agent-causal (AC) theories, explaining their motivations through a discussion of mechanism, teleology, and agency. It considers different accounts of the agent-causal relation by, among others, libertarians such as C. A. Campbell, Roderick Chisholm, Richard Taylor, John Thorp, Michael Zimmerman, Richard Swinburne, Godfrey Vesey, Alan Donagan, William Rowe, and Randolph Clarke. It also poses the question whether agent-causal theories require a substance dualism of mind and body—as many philosophers have suspected they must, since they posit a sui generis causal relation between an agent and action that is irreducible to ordinary modes of causation. It is argued that AC theories do not necessarily require substance dualism but may require some sort of strong emergence of mind from matter. Some contemporary dualist accounts of free agency in the light are also discussed.
Timothy O'Connor is professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has published numerous articles in metaphysics, philosophy of mind and action, and philosophy of religion. He is the editor of Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will (OUP, 1995) and coeditor of Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings (2003), Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (2009), Emergence in Science and Philosophy and A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. He is the author of Persons and Causes (OUP, 2000) and Theism and Ultimate Explanation (2008).
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