Philosophical Studies

, Volume 169, Issue 1, pp 59–69 | Cite as

The disappearing agent objection to event-causal libertarianism

Article

Abstract

The question I raise is whether Mark Balaguer’s event-causal libertarianism can withstand the disappearing agent objection. The concern is that with the causal role of the events antecedent to a decision already given, nothing settles whether the decision occurs, and so the agent does not settle whether the decision occurs. Thus it would seem that in this view the agent will not have the control in making decisions required for moral responsibility. I examine whether Balaguer’s position has the resources to answer this objection.

Keywords

Event-causal libertarianism Non-causal libertarianism Disappearing agent objection Indeterminism Moral responsibility 

References

  1. Balaguer, M. (2009). Free will as an open scientific problem. Cambridge: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bergson, H. (1889/1910). Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience, F. Alcan, 1889 (Time and free will, F. L. Pogson, Trans.). London: Allen and Unwin. (1910).Google Scholar
  3. Chisholm, R. (1964). “Human freedom and the self,” The lindley lecture, Department of Philosophy, University of Kansas, 1964. In G. Watson (Ed.), Free will, Oxford (pp. 24–35). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Reprinted in 1980.)Google Scholar
  4. Chisholm, R. (1976). Person and object. La Salle: Open Court.Google Scholar
  5. Clarke, R. (2003). Libertarian theories of free will. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clarke, R. (2008). Incompatibilist (nondeterministic) theories of free will,” In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Winter 2011 ed.). http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/incompatibilism-theories.
  7. Ekstrom, L. W. (2000). Free will: A philosophical study. Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  8. Franklin, C. (2011). Farewell to the luck (and mind) argument. Philosophical Studies, 156(2), 199–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ginet, C. (1990). On action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ginet, C. (1996). In defense of the principle of alternative possibilities: Why I don’t find Frankfurt’s arguments convincing. Philosophical Perspectives, 10, 403–417.Google Scholar
  11. Ginet, C. (2007). An action can be both uncaused and up to the agent. In Lumer (Ed.), Intentionality, deliberation, and autonomy. Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  12. Goetz, S. (2007). Freedom, teleology, and evil. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  13. Griffiths, M. (2010). Why agent-caused actions are not lucky. American Philosophical Quarterly, 47, 43–56.Google Scholar
  14. Hume, D. (1739/1978). A treatise of human nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kane, R. (1996). The significance of free will. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kant, I. (1781/1787/1987). Critique of pure reason (P. Guyer & A. Wood, Trans.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lewis, D. (1986). Causation. Journal of Philosophy, 70, 556–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCann, H. (1998). The works of agency. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  19. O’Connor, T. (2000). Persons and causes. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. O’Connor, T. (2008). Agent-causal power. In T. Handfield (Ed.), Dispositions and causes (pp. 189–214). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  21. Pereboom, D. (2001). Living without free will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pereboom, D. (2004). Is our conception of agent causation incoherent? Philosophical Topics, 32, 275–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pereboom, D. (2007). Hard incompatibilism, and responses to Kane, Fischer, and Vargas. In R. Kane, J. M. Fischer, D. Pereboom & M. Vargas (Eds.), Four views on free will (pp. 85–125, 191–203). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  24. Reid, T. (1983). Essays on the active powers of man. In D. D. Sir William Hamilton (Ed.) The works of Thomas Reid. Hildesheim: G. Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung.Google Scholar
  25. Taylor, R. (1966). Action and purpose. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  26. Taylor, R. (1974). Metaphysics (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  27. van Inwagen, P. (1983). An essay on free will. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations