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The Retreat of ReasonA dilemma in the philosophy of life$
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Ingmar Persson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199276900.001.0001

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COMPATIBILIST FREEDOM OF ACTION

COMPATIBILIST FREEDOM OF ACTION

Chapter:
(p.385) 32 COMPATIBILIST FREEDOM OF ACTION
Source:
The Retreat of Reason
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199276900.003.0033

This chapter begins by conceding Harry Frankfurt’s point that responsibility for an action does not require that we could have acted otherwise at the time in question. But it goes on to argue that it requires that, at the time of action, we believe that we can act otherwise if we decide to do so and, thus, unless we are victims of a grand illusion, that we can often act otherwise; otherwise, serious deliberation would be ruled out. This chapter also argues that this compatibilism is not defeated by the argument by Peter van Inwagen that in a world in which determinism is true, we cannot act otherwise because we can change neither the past nor the laws of nature.

Keywords:   compatibilism, determinism, Harry Frankfurt, Peter van Inwagen, responsibility, action

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