Practical Reasoning as the Source of Free Will

Date
2022
Authors
Anderson, Aaron Morgan
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Abstract

This thesis is divided into two distinct missions: one negative mission and one affirmative mission. The negative mission precedes the affirmative and is devoted to arguing against the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), Galen Strawson's Basic Argument, and Peter van Inwagen's Consequence Argument. The positive mission argues for the following six criterion: S's action x is free and morally responsible in circumstances C if and only if (i) S's performing x in C is a means to the achievement of a goal G, (ii) S wills G, (iii) S has participated in a sound practical syllogism according to which S ought to perform x in C if S wills G, (iv) S knows, truly and justifiably believes, or truly intuits that S ought to achieve G (the end) in C & S knows, truly and justifiably believes, or truly intuits that S ought to perform x in C to achieve G (the means), (v) S performs x in C because performing x is in accordance with practical reason, and (vi) S is rationally disposed in the actual causal sequence to perform x as suggested by (i-v).

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Keywords
Aristotle, Compatibilism, Determinism, Free Will, Reason View, van Inwagen
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Department
Philosophy