Efforts, Purposes, and Practical Reason

Robert Kane

in The Significance of Free Will

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126563
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199868506 | DOI:
Efforts, Purposes, and Practical Reason

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The task of constructing an indeterminist account of free will without appeal to obscure or mysterious notions of agency or causation (begun in Ch. 8) is continued in this chapter. The theory is extended to additional topics beyond free choices in moral and prudential contexts, for example, to “efforts of will sustaining purposes” that may be involved in different human activities where resistance in the will must be overcome, to acts of attention, to self‐control and self‐modification, practical deliberation, creative problem solving and changes of intention in action. Along the way, a number of other topics are discussed: evolution and rationality, the role of chance in problem solving, self‐deception, the role of “effort” in Eastern philosophies, such as Taoism, and the relation of incommensurability of values to free will.

Keywords: efforts of will; evolution; free will; incommensurability; practical deliberation; self‐control; self‐deception; self‐modification; Taoism

Chapter.  10538 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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