Bernard Berofsky

in Nature's Challenge to Free Will

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640010
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738197 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


The classical problem of free will and determinism is a metaphysical problem that cannot, therefore, be solved through analyses of moral or evaluative notions like responsibility and agency. It is crucial to understand the metaphysical concerns of the incompatibilist, one who finds that determinism threatens free will, and it is claimed that this concern rests on a mistaken vision of the world, necessitarianism. David Hume, who defended the compatibility of free will and determinism, attacked the necessitarian metaphysic and this book is essentially a defense of his views. Hume’s particular defense of compatibilism, conditionalist compatibilism, is, however, rejected. An explanation of the dearth of defenders of the thesis of the book, labeled “Humean Compatibilism,” is offered. Brief synopses of other principal chapters are provided.

Keywords: free will; determinism; Humean Compatibilism; necessitarianism; incompatibilism; compatibilism; conditionalist compatibilism

Chapter.  3268 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.