Concepts of Free Will

Bernard Berofsky

in Nature's Challenge to Free Will

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640010
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738197 | DOI:
 						Concepts of Free Will

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The origins in Ancient Greece of the problem of free will and determinism are briefly described. A preliminary discussion of determinism that includes a discussion of the problems pertaining to its definition as well as its truth is provided. The recent history of discussions reveals general skepticism both about classical compatibilism and the conditionalist version. Given that the concept of free will is usually characterized in one of two ways—self-determination or counterfactual power—the discussion begins by looking at the compatibilist–incompatibilist controversy over self-determination. It is argued that self-determination must be understood as self-regulation or autonomy rather than self-fulfillment and that influential theorists do not take seriously enough the possibility of autonomous self-suppression. Self-regulation can be exercised by the Deliberative Self or the Reflective Self and it can take place autonomously or heteronomously. It is then proposed that self-determination be construed as deliberative/reflective (DR)-autonomy.

Keywords: free will; determinism; classical compatibilism; self; self-determination; self-fulfillment; self-regulation; autonomy; deliberative self; reflective self

Chapter.  13495 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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