Deliberation and Alternatives

Dana Kay Nelkin

in Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608560
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729638 | DOI:
Deliberation and Alternatives

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This chapter takes up the question of whether the rational abilities view developed thus far fits with, or is in tension with, our commitments as rational agents. It addresses a conclusion that can be found in the work of thinkers as different from each other as Aristotle, Kant, and Peter van Inwagen, namely, the thesis that, as rational deliberators, we manifest a commitment to our own freedom. What exactly are we committed to, in virtue of being rational deliberators? This chapter begins to answer this question by showing that insofar as we deliberate about multiple courses of action, we are committed to our own deliberation having the potential to explain why we perform one rather than the other. And yet this does not thereby commit us to thinking of the world as undetermined.

Keywords: rational deliberation; rational agency; freedom; rational abilities; action; determinism; Aristotle; Kant; Peter Van Inwagen

Chapter.  13324 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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