Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges

Manuel Vargas

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges

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This article deals with another kind of free-will theory, revisionism, that is comparatively new and has come into prominence only in the past decade. Rather that denying we have free will, revisionists with incompatibilist intuitions, who come to believe that an incompatibilist free will is impossible, would instead conclude that free will was not exactly what they previously thought it to be (i.e., it is not incompatibilist). They would, in effect, revise their view of free will in a compatibilist direction, rather than denying free will altogether. The article provides an informative account of the origin of revisionist views of this kind in recent philosophy and a useful taxonomy of kinds of revisionist views. It concludes with a discussion of future challenges for revisionist approaches to free will and moral responsibility.

Keywords: free-will theory; revisionism; taxonomy; revisionist view; incompatibilist

Article.  8670 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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