Kames's Hypothesis

Edited by James A. Harris

in Of Liberty and Necessity

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780199268603
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603136 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Kames's Hypothesis

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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In his Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1751), Henry Home, Lord Kames, proposes a novel solution to the free will problem. He admits that we naturally believe that we possess a libertarian freedom of choice; but argues that this natural belief is in fact false, given us by God in order that we be prompted to act, and in order that we think of ourselves as morally responsible for our actions. Kames’s proposal excited much controversy, and Kames moderates his view in the second and third editions of the Essays.

Keywords: Kames; liberty; necessity; conscience; morality

Chapter.  9332 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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