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Being, Freedom, and MethodThemes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen$
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John A. Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.001.0001

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The Disconnect Problem and the Influence Strategy

The Disconnect Problem and the Influence Strategy

Chapter:
(p.95) 5 The Disconnect Problem and the Influence Strategy
Source:
Being, Freedom, and Method
Author(s):

Mark Heller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.003.0006

There is a standard objection to libertarianism that is often put in terms of luck or randomness: if indeterminism is true in a way that initially seems helpful to the libertarian, then there is a freedom-threatening disconnect between one’s reasons and one’s actions. A standard reply to this sort of objection is to propose that reasons can “influence without determining” behavior. This paper proposes that this reply is vulnerable to a “degree argument”: whatever degree of freedom is present in a given case, it always seems that it would be better, from the perspective of avoiding the disconnect worry, to have a higher degree of influence. Thus, the Influence Strategy is rejected as a response to the Disconnect Problem. The paper is thereby led to reject libertarianism, though more tentatively. This leaves a choice between compatibilism and impossibilism, and a contextualist treatment of that choice is proposed.

Keywords:   free will, responsibility, compatibilism, incompatibilism, contextualism, reasons

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