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Freedom and Belief$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247493.001.0001

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Evidence and Independence

Evidence and Independence

(p.150) (p.151) 10 Evidence and Independence
Freedom and Belief

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins a sustained discussion of the suggestion that believing you are free might be a condition of actually being free. The suggestion is highly paradoxical. It seems clear that it violates the ‘principle of independence’. This is the principle that if one has a belief, B, then the obtaining of the state of affairs that makes B true cannot (ever) depend upon or necessarily involve one's having B. It is, in other words, the principle that one's having B cannot be among the truth-conditions of B. If believing one is free is just causally inevitable, if one is free, then there may be no great problem. But the suggestion is that believing one is free may somehow be partly constitutive of being free.

Keywords:   belief, condition of freedom, principle of independence, causal inevitability, paradox

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