Chapter

Introduction

Robert Kane

in The Significance of Free Will

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126563
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199868506 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195126564.003.0001
Introduction

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The chapter shows how the issue of free will and determinism (including questions about necessity, fate, predestination, and related topics) arose historically in various traditions of Eastern and Western philosophy. It also shows how the traditional problem of free will has been transformed in modern times as a result of new developments in the sciences and humanistic studies. Four questions are introduced about free will that have come to the fore as a result of these new developments and will be discussed in the remainder of the book: (The Compatibility Question) Is free will compatible or incompatible with determinism? (The Significance Question) Why do we want free will? (The Intelligibility Question) Can we make sense of an indeterminist or incompatibilist free will? (The Existence Question) Can such a free will exist in the natural order and if so, how?

Keywords: compatibilism; determinism; fate; free will; incompatibilism; necessity; predestination

Chapter.  8527 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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