Article

Who's <i>Still</i> Afraid of Determinism? Rethinking Causes and Possibilities

Christopher Taylor and Daniel Dennett

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399691
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195399691.003.0011

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Who's Still Afraid of Determinism? Rethinking Causes and Possibilities

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article argues, in defense of compatibilism, that objections to compatibilist accounts of free agency are based on a flawed understanding of the relationship of such notions as possibility and causation to freedom and agency. It undertakes an analysis of the relevant notions of possibility and causation to show this. The article develops a compatibilist view, with special attention to technical issues about the nature of causation and possibility. In the process, it discusses recent technical views about the nature of causality, particularly that of Judea Pearl. It also develops some interesting analogies concerning the functioning of computers to argue that the flexibility, reflexivity, and creativity that free will requires are consistent with the hypothesis that human behavior, like that of intelligent machines, is determined.

Keywords: compatibilism; free agency; causation; Judea Pearl; possibility; intelligent machines

Article.  9840 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Science

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.