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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 WILL

COMPATIBILIST FREEDOM OF WILL

Chapter:
(p.393) 33 COMPATIBILIST FREEDOM OF WILL
Source:
The Retreat of Reason
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199276900.003.0034

If the fact that you could have acted otherwise is to be given a conditional analysis as that you could have acted otherwise if you had decided to do so, the ‘if’-clause must be understood as presupposing that you could have decided to act otherwise in some suitable sense. This chapter suggests that this sense is an epistemic one, supplied by the principled unpredictability of decisions defended in chapter 31. This epistemic possibility of deciding otherwise is incompatible with irresistible and compulsive desires whose strength is independent of the thrust of the agent’s reasons. An account of coercion is then added to the sketch of a direct responsibility. The chapter ends by pointing out that, even though compatibilism can account for direct responsibility, there is still the question whether we can have ultimate responsibility.

Keywords:   coercion, compatibilism, compulsive desires, conditional analysis, direct responsibility, irresistible desires, ultimate responsibility

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