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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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Objectivism: Preliminaries

Objectivism: Preliminaries

(p.106) (p.107) 7 Objectivism: Preliminaries
Freedom and Belief

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins to try to build a statement of the necessary and sufficient conditions of free agenthood. The first group of conditions seem straightforward: an agent must be (1) capable of entertaining desires; (2) capable of forming beliefs about its circumstances; (3) practical-rational, that is, capable of practical reasoning; (4) capable of self-movement (or self-change); and (5) capable of fully self-conscious thought. These are nominated as the initial set of Structural or S conditions of free agenthood. Dogs can presumably fulfil conditions (1)-(4), but not (5). Nemo is introduced: he is defined as being as similar to an ordinary human being as it is possible to be without being self-conscious. The question is whether he could count as a free agent.

Keywords:   Structural conditions, free agenthood, Nemo, dogs, beliefs, desires, practical reasoning

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