A Companion to Metaphysics by Jaegwon Kim, Visit Amazon's Ernest Sosa Page, search

By Jaegwon Kim, Visit Amazon's Ernest Sosa Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Ernest Sosa, , Gary S. Rosenkrantz

Totally prolonged and revised, A better half to Metaphysics second Edition features a component to distinct evaluation essays from popular metaphysicians, and the addition of greater than 30 new encyclopedic entries, taking the variety of entries to over three hundred.

  • Includes revisions to latest encyclopedic entries
  • Features greater than 30 all-new "A to Z" entries
  • Offers a piece of in-depth, essays from popular metaphysicians
  • Provides the main entire and updated reference advisor for college students and pros alike

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Freedom of will is not just any kind of freedom of action or freedom to do what you want. Freedom of will has a special relationship to responsibility or accountability for one’s actions. qxd 1/12/09 3:04 PM Page 21 f ree will many philosophers actually define free will as that kind of freedom (whatever it may be) that is necessary to confer true moral responsibility (and hence genuine praiseworthiness and blameworthiness) on agents. The connection between free will and moral responsibility is important because a number of “new compatibilists”, including Frankfurt (1969), Dennett (1983), Fischer (1994), and Wallace (1994), have denied that moral responsibility requires the power to do otherwise, or alternative possibilities.

For example, we could no longer believe that criminal punishment was ultimately deserved. Yet, we could still incarcerate criminals to deter them and others from committing future crimes or to reform them. But other philosophers, such as Smilansky (2000), who also believe libertarian free will is impossible, argue that the effects on society and moral life would be dire if most people became convinced that we do not have an incompatibilist or libertarian free will. Smilansky provocatively suggests that while we do not have such an incompatibilist free will, we must continue to foster the illusion which most ordinary persons share that we do have such a free will for the sake of morality and social order.

Appeals such as these, and other appeals by libertarians to uncaused causes or unmoved movers, have invited charges of obscurity or mystery against libertarian views of free will by their opponents. Even some of the greatest defenders of libertarianism, such as Kant, have argued that we need to believe in libertarian freedom to make sense of morality and true responsibility. But we cannot completely understand such a freedom in theoretical and scientific terms. qxd 1/12/09 3:04 PM Page 25 f ree will compatible with determinism, it does not seem to be compatible with indeterminism either.

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A Companion to Metaphysics by Jaegwon Kim, Visit Amazon's Ernest Sosa Page, search
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