- Introduction: The Contours of Contemporary Free-Will Debates (Part 2)
- Divine Knowledge and Human Freedom
- Quantum Physics, Consciousness, and Free Will
- Chaos, Indeterminism, and Free Will
- The Causal Closure of Physics and Free Will
- The Consequence Argument Revisited
- A Compatibilist Reply to the Consequence Argument
- Compatibilism Without Frankfurt: Dispositional Analyses of free Will
- Contemporary Compatibilism: Mesh Theories and Reasons-Responsive Theories
- Moral Sense and the Foundations of Responsibility
- Who's <i>Still</i> Afraid of Determinism? Rethinking Causes and Possibilities
- Frankfurt-Type Examples and SemiCompatibilism: New Work
- Frankfurt-Friendly Libertarianism
- Obligation, Reason, and Frankfurt Examples
- Agent-Causal Theories of Freedom
- Alternatives for Libertarians
- Freedom and action without causation: Noncausal theories of freedom and purposive agency
- Free Will is not a Mystery
- Rethinking Free Will: New Perspectives on an Ancient Problem
- Free-Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life
- Free Will, Fundamental Dualism, and the Centrality Of Illusion
- Effects, Determinism, Neither Compatibilism Nor Incompatibilism, Consciousness
- Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges
- A Promising Argument
- Rollbacks, Endorsements, and Indeterminism
- Free Will and Science
- Contributions of Neuroscience to the Free Will Debate: From random movement to intelligible action
- Free Will and the Bounds of the Self
- Intuitions about Free Will, Determinism, and Bypassing
Abstract and Keywords
This article argues, in defense of compatibilism, that objections to compatibilist accounts of free agency are based on a flawed understanding of the relationship of such notions as possibility and causation to freedom and agency. It undertakes an analysis of the relevant notions of possibility and causation to show this. The article develops a compatibilist view, with special attention to technical issues about the nature of causation and possibility. In the process, it discusses recent technical views about the nature of causality, particularly that of Judea Pearl. It also develops some interesting analogies concerning the functioning of computers to argue that the flexibility, reflexivity, and creativity that free will requires are consistent with the hypothesis that human behavior, like that of intelligent machines, is determined.
Christopher Taylor is Paul Collins Professor of Piano Performance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, maintaining an active career as a concert pianist and recording artist. He graduated with a B.A., summa cum laude, in mathematics from Harvard University (1992) and an M.M. in piano performance at New England Conservatory (1999). While pursuing the latter degree he began his philosophical collaboration with Daniel Dennett, the first fruit of which appeared in the first edition of The Oxford Handbook of Free Will (2002). He maintains active interests in the domains of causation and temporality, as well as in mathematical logic, computer science, and linguistics.
Daniel C. Dennett is university professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He is also the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies there. His most recent book on free will is Freedom Evolves (2003) and among his recent articles are “Toward a Science of Volition,” with W. Prinz and N. Sebanz, in Disorders of Volition, edited by N. Sebanz and W. Prinz (2006), and “Some Observations on the Psychology of Thinking about Free Will,” in Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will, edited by John Baer, James C. Kaufman, Roy F. Baumeister (OUP, 2008).
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