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The Significance of Free Will$
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Robert Kane

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195126563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195126564.001.0001

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Plurality and Indeterminism

Plurality and Indeterminism

(p.105) 7 Plurality and Indeterminism
The Significance of Free Will

Robert Kane (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

We turn to the “Intelligibility Question” about free will: How, if at all, can one make sense of a free will that is incompatible with determinism? If free choices are not determined, they must be undetermined. But undetermined events, it is often argued, occur by chance; and choices or actions that occur by chance would be “arbitrary,” “capricious,” “random,” “irrational,” and not under the control of agents – hence not responsible actions at all. These familiar charges are traced to “plurality conditions” for free will: free agents must not only be able to choose and choose otherwise, they must be able to choose and choose otherwise, either way rationally, voluntarily, intentionally, and having voluntary control over their choices. In order to satisfy these plurality requirements, traditional incompatibilist or libertarian theories of free will have usually appealed to obscure or mysterious forms of agency or causation, which are problematic for a number reasons discussed in the chapter.

Keywords:   agency, arbitrariness, chance, control, free will, indeterminism, libertarian, rationality, voluntariness

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