Rethinking Free Will: New Perspectives on an Ancient Problem

Robert Kane

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Rethinking Free Will: New Perspectives on an Ancient Problem


This article discusses and defends a “centered” EC libertarian view of free will that places the indeterminism in choices or decisions themselves. Libertarian views were either agent-causal or noncausalist, or some combination of the two. The possibility of an alternative (centered) causal indeterminist or EC view was suggested by a number of thinkers. This article discusses these refinements after summarizing the centered EC theory and motivations for formulating it. It considers issues about self-forming actions, efforts of will, the phenomenology of free decision making, the relation of the theory to neuroscience, complex dynamical systems, agency and control of decisions given indeterminism, and responses to alleged regresses attending the view, including issues about the first self-forming actions of childhood. It also responds to a number of different versions of the so-called “luck objection” against libertarian free will.

Keywords: indeterminism; libertarian views; centered EC theory; free will; childhood

Article.  13275 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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