- Notes on Contributors
- Essences and Kinds
- From Causes to Laws
- Space and Time
- The Mechanical Philosophy
- Machines, Souls, and Vital Principles
- The Soul
- Qualities and Sensory Perception
- The Passions
- Language and Semiotics
- Form, Reason, and Method
- Instruments of Knowledge
- Picturability and Mathematical Ideals of Knowledge
- Virtue and Vice
- Egoism and Morality
- Realism and Relativism in Ethics
- The Free Will Problem
- The Equality of Men and Women
- Natural Law as Political Philosophy
- Sovereignty and Obedience
- Conceptions of God
- The Epistemology of Religious Belief
- Religious Toleration
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the free will problem as it arises within Thomas Hobbes' naturalistic science of morals in early modern Europe. It explains that during this period, the problem of moral and legal responsibility became acute as mechanical philosophy was extended to human psychology and as a result human choices were explained in terms of desires and preferences rather than being represented as acts of an autonomous faculty. It describes how Hobbes changed the face of moral philosophy, through his Leviathan, in ways that still structure and resonate within the contemporary debate.
Paul Russell is Professor in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. He has held a number of visiting positions, including Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His published work includes 'Freedom and Moral Sentiment: Hume's Way of Naturalizing Responsibility' (Oxford University Press, 1995) and 'The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion' (Oxford University Press: 2008). In 2010 he was the Fowler Hamilton Visiting Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford.
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