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A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will



Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
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  • A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will
    A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will


Accessible to students with no background in the subject, A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will provides an extensive and up-to-date overview of all the latest views on this central problem of philosophy. Opening with a concise introduction to the history of the problem of free will--and its place in the history of philosophy--the book then turns to contemporary debates and theories about free will, determinism, and related subjects like moral responsibility, coercion, compulsion, autonomy, agency, rationality, freedom, and more. Classical compatibilist and new compatibilist theories of free will are considered along with the latest incompatibilist or libertarian theories and the most recent skeptical challenges to free will. Separate chapters are devoted to the relation of free will to moral responsibility and ethics; to modern science; and to religious questions about predestination, divine foreknowledge, and human freedom. Numerous down-to-earth examples and challenging thought experiments enliven the text. The book is an ideal addition to introduction to philosophy, metaphysics, and free will courses.

Table of Contents

1 The Free Will Problem
2 Compatibilism
3 Incompatibilism
4 Libertarianism, Indeterminism, and Chance
5 Minds, Selves, and Agent Causes
6 Actions, Reasons, and Causes
7 Is Free Will Possible? Hard Determinists and Other Skeptics
8 Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities
9 Higher-order Desires, Real Selves, and New Compatibilists
10 Reactive Attitude Theories 107(13)
11 Ultimate Responsibility 120(12)
12 Free Will and Modern Science 132(15)
13 Predestination, Divine Foreknowledge, and Free Will 147(16)
14 Conclusion: Five Freedoms 163(12)
NOTES 175(10)

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