, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 369-389
Date: 19 Aug 2011

Thomas Reid on active power and free agency

Abstract

The paper argues that it is a mistake to interpret Thomas Reid as holding a libertarian notion of freedom, and to make use of Reid to argue in support of a libertarian position. More precisely, this paper shows that Reid’s theory of agent-causation may not be what these philosophers take it to be, once such crucial notions as agent-causation and active power in Reid’s theory of free agency have been fully explicated. Reid is more committed to accepting the view of freedom as rational self-control over the determination of the will than a contracausal view of freedom.