Freedom and Practical Judgement

22 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2008 Last revised: 7 Apr 2008


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.

Suggested Citation

Owens, David, Freedom and Practical Judgement. Available at SSRN: or

David Owens (Contact Author)

Kings College London ( email )

Philosophy Building
The Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics