Freedom and Normativity – Varieties of Free Will

Chapter
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 118)

Abstract

The paper takes up a general conceptual discussion and, favoring a compatibilist framework, asks whether the manifold conceptions of free will may lead to the question of which of the enduring disputes are substantial ones about the same issue and which are perhaps only terminological ones due, for instance, to equivocal use of concepts. Firstly, five competing views on how to approach the problem of free will are discussed: 1) presupposition of a fixed reference of freedom of the will which has to be explained adequately; 2) formulation of a list of necessary and sufficient conditions for free will; 3) conceptual analysis of our intuitions on free will; 4) analysis of our social practice of attributing responsibility from a pragmatic point of view; and, finally, 5) criticism of other approaches in order to pinpoint the most plausible aspects to be used in any attempt to conceptualize the notion of free will. The paper then argues for an evaluative and substantive approach regarding those aspects of freedom of the will which matter in our practical disputes and a number of these aspects are discussed in detail, thereby presenting a complex account of what is (really) at stake in discussions on freedom of the will and autonomy.

Keywords

Social Practice Alternative Possibility Free Action Folk Conception Ordinary Conception 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyJohann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am MainFrankfurtGermany

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