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Freedom and Belief - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Freedom and Belief

Galen Strawson


There are many senses in which we can be said to be free agents, and to be morally responsible. There is also, however, a strong, fundamental, and natural sense in which these things are impossible. Very briefly: we cannot be ultimately responsible for how we act. Why not? Because when we act, we do what we do because of the way we are, all things considered, and we cannot be ultimately responsible for the way we are. Suppose this is right: ultimate responsibility is impossible. Can we nevertheless state what would be necessary and sufficient for someone to possess ultimate responsibility (as ... More

Keywords: free will, free agency, moral psychology, ultimate responsibility, phenomenology, experience of agency, causa sui, metaphysics, paradox, moral responsibility

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199247493
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247493.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Galen Strawson, author
University of Reading
Author Webpage