Free Will, Fundamental Dualism, and the Centrality of Illusion

Saul Smilansky

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195178548
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Free Will, Fundamental Dualism, and the Centrality of Illusion

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This article presents a novel position on the issue of free will and compares this position to other more familiar ones. It consists of two radical theses: fundamental dualism and illusionism. Part 1 presents the three questions on the issue of free will and then briefly states reasons that libertarian free will is impossible, and hence reasons that we need to be concerned with compatibilism and hard determinism. Part 2 sets out the first of the two radical proposals, a fundamental dualism according to which we have to be both compatibilists and hard determinists. Part 3 presents the second proposal, illusionism, which claims that illusion on free will is morally necessary.

Keywords: libertarian free will; fundamental dualism; incompatibilist; moral responsibility; hard determinism; illusionism

Article.  7542 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology ; Metaphysics

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