How to Solve the Problem of Free Will
in Paul Russell & Oisin Deery, eds., The Philosophy of Free Will: Essential Readings from the Contemporary Debates (Oxford Univ. Press 2013).
22 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2014 Last revised: 26 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2013
This paper outlines a way of thinking about the problem of free will, what is at stake in talk about free will, and the constraints on constructing plausible theories of free will. The account begins with significant reasons for being dissatisfied with standard approaches to the problem of free will, including libertarianism, compatibilism, and free will skepticism. Although there is good reason to doubt that we are the kinds of agents or persons we ordinarily suppose, rather than this supporting the conclusion that we lack free will, this suggests that our having free will may involve different powers than we ordinarily suppose. The paper offers a framework for developing this alternative picture of free will, something I call "revisionism about free will," and it outlines an approach that figures prominently in Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.
Keywords: revisionism, free will, moral responsibility, metaphilosophy, philosophical methodology
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation