Alternatives for Libertarians

Randolph Clarke

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Alternatives for Libertarians


This article discusses objections to all three kinds of libertarian theory. It first reprises and further develops criticisms of noncausalist and event-causal (EC) libertarian theories. It argues that libertarian theories of both kinds face as yet unresolved problems including issue about luck and control, the requirements of intentional action, and the role of psychological causes in free agency. It then turns to agent-causal theories. It explains reasons for doubting the possibility of “causation by an enduring substance, which does not consist in causation by events involving that substance” (such as agent-causal theorists propose), and concludes on a skeptical note about the viability of libertarian accounts of free will generally.

Keywords: libertarian theory; EC libertarian theories; intentional action; free agency; free will; agent-causal theories

Article.  10584 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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