Compatibilism Without Frankfurt: Dispositional Analyses of free Will

Bernard Berofsky

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399691
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Compatibilism Without Frankfurt: Dispositional Analyses of free Will


This article considers recent debates about the adequacy of conditional analyses of freedom and classical compatibilism. It begins with a discussion of objections to conditional or hypothetical analyses of freedom that began to surface in the 1950s and 1960s. It discusses four such objections to conditional analyses, some of which can be successfully rebutted by classical compatibilists, but several of which present serious problems. These problems, the article argues, have led over the past fifty years to the abandonment of conditional analyses of freedom by many “new” compatibilists inspired by the work of Harry Frankfurt, P. F. Strawson, and others. The discussion notes that compatibilists must look beyond conditional accounts of freedom if they are to fully blunt the force of incompatibilist arguments.

Keywords: classical compatibilism; conditional analysis; freedom; Harry Frankfurt; P. F. Strawson

Article.  11071 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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