- The Oxford Handbook of Freedom
- Self-Ownership as a Form of Ownership
- Positive Freedom and the General Will
- Moralized Conceptions of Liberty
- On the Conflict Between Liberty and Equality
- Freedom and Equality
- The Point of Self-Ownership
- Platonic Freedom
- Aristotelian Freedom
- Freedom in the Scholastic Tradition
- Freedom, Slavery, and Identity in Renaissance Florence: The Faces of Leon Battista Alberti
- Freedom and Enlightenment
- Adam Smith’s Libertarian Paternalism
- Market Failure, the Tragedy of the Commons, and Default Libertarianism in Contemporary Economics and Policy
- Planning, Freedom, and the Rule of Law
- Freedom, Regulation, and Public Policy
- Boundaries, Subjection to Laws, and Affected Interests
- Democracy and Freedom
- Can Constitutions Limit Government?
- Freedom and Religion
- Freedom and Influence in Formative Education
- Freedom and the (Posthumous) Harm Principle
- Exploitation and Freedom
- Voluntariness, Coercion, Self-ownership
- The Impartial Spectator and the Moral Teachings of Markets
- Disciplinary Specialization and Thinking for Yourself
- Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment
- Prisoners of Misbelief: The Epistemic Conditions of Freedom
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter analyzes free will in terms of a complex set of psychological capacities that agents possess and exercise to varying degrees, focusing on the capacities for imagination. To have free will is to possess these psychological capacities such that the agent is the author of his or her actions and can deserve credit or blame for them. To act of one’s own free will is to have had (reasonable) opportunity to exercise these capacities in making decisions and acting. There is a long philosophical tradition of treating free will as the set of capacities that, when properly functioning, allow us to make decisions that contribute to a good or flourishing life. On this view, free will is a psychological accomplishment. Free will also allows us to be the causal source of our actions in a way that is compatible with determinism and naturalism.
Eddy Nahmias is Professor of Philosophy and Associate Faculty at the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University.
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