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Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life$
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Derk Pereboom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685516

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685516.001.0001

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Problems for Event-Causal and Non-Causal Libertarianisms

Problems for Event-Causal and Non-Causal Libertarianisms

Chapter:
(p.30) 2 Problems for Event-Causal and Non-Causal Libertarianisms
Source:
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life
Author(s):

Derk Pereboom

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685516.003.0003

First, against the event-causal libertarian view the chapter presents the disappearing agent objection. In the paradigm case of a free decision no occurrence of antecedent events settles whether the decision will occur, and since only antecedent events are causally relevant, nothing settles whether the decision will occur. Thus the agent will lack the control required for moral responsibility for it. Secondly, the chapter argues that the non-causal view falls to a dilemma. Non-causalists maintain that basic free actions are not only causally undetermined but also uncaused. If the agent nonetheless makes the basic action occur or makes the difference whether it will occur, as non-causalists specify, then she will cause the action after all, since the making-relation and the difference-making relations are causal relations. If she does not make the basic action occur or make the difference whether it occurs, then she will lack the control required for moral responsibility for it.

Keywords:   event-causal libertarianism, non-causal libertarianism, quantum mechanics, luck objection, disappearing agent argument

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