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Freedom and Practical Judgement

David Owens

University of Reading

Unlike many other animals, human beings enjoy freedom of action. They are capable of acting freely because they have certain psychological capacities which other animals lack. In this paper, I argue that the crucial capacity here is our ability to make practical judgements; to make judgements about what we ought to do. A number of other writers share this view but they treat practical judgement as a form of belief. Since, as I argue, we don't control our beliefs, that undermines this model of human freedom. I suggest a different account of practical judgement, according to which they are cognitive states but not beliefs and I show how this provides us with a better model of practical freedom.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

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Date posted: February 19, 2008 ; Last revised: April 7, 2008

Suggested Citation

Owens, David, Freedom and Practical Judgement. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1094368

Contact Information

David Owens (Contact Author)
University of Reading ( email )
Reading, RG6 6AF
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/davidowensphilosophy/
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References:  32

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