Chapter

Conditionalist Compatibilism

Bernard Berofsky

in Nature's Challenge to Free Will

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640010
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738197 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640010.003.0005
 						Conditionalist Compatibilism

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Traditional problems of conditionalist compatibilism are recited. The most recalcitrant of them insists that, for power, an agent must have control over the antecedent of the conditional, thereby generating an infinite regress. J. L. Austin’s defense of token incompatibilism is rejected. Keith Lehrer’s argument against conditionalist compatibilism is presented. As a prelude to a discussion of recent efforts to resuscitate conditionalist compatibilism, the recent literature on dispositions is reviewed. David Lewis’ analysis of dispositions is used by Kadri Vihvelin in an effort to defend conditionalist compatibilism. This strategy is deemed a failure. The same verdict is issued for Michael Smith’s version of conditionalism as well as for Michael Fara’s effort to save conditional analyses by invoking the concept of masked abilities. An appeal to the internal–external distinction will not save conditionalist compatibilism.

Keywords: conditionalist compatibilism; dispositions; Austin; Lehrer; Lewis; Vihvelin; Smith; Fara; internal–external distinction; masked abilities

Chapter.  10395 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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