Free Will

G. E. Moore

in Ethics

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780199272013
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603181 | DOI:

Series: British Moral Philosophers

 Free Will

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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This chapter is Moore’s most important discussion of the subject of free will. He distinguishes the question of whether right and wrong depend not on what we can do if we choose, but rather on what we can do in some more absolute sense, from the question of whether we ever could have done anything different from what we actually did do. He analyzes closely the ambiguities of ‘could have done’ and ‘could have chosen’. He maintains that certain propositions ordinarily taken to be perfectly true are not only compatible with the principle of causality, but also license claims that we have free will.

Keywords: fatalism; free will; principle of causality; voluntary actions; could

Chapter.  5547 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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