Chapter

Freedom

Bede Rundle

in Mind in Action

Published in print October 1997 | ISBN: 9780198236917
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679414 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236917.003.0009
Freedom

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Discussions of freedom commonly center around two characterizations: to act freely is to act as one pleases, to do what one wants to do; alternatively, though perhaps equivalently, a person can be said to have acted freely if he could have done something other than what he, in fact, did. It is also assumed commonly that alternative actions were within a person's power, not failure, which means that something else could have happened. A determinist might tend to deny this, however. Determinism may be challenged by showing that there are areas in which it does not hold true, and this is in situations where there are constraints. In other words, there is a possibility of succeeding, and at the same time, equal possibility of not succeeding and it would be good to consider where freedom comes in in this regard.

Keywords: freedom; ability; possibility; action; failure; determinism; constraints

Chapter.  15817 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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