Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Real Materialismand Other Essays$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267422.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 August 2019

Consciousness, Free Will, and Determinism

Consciousness, Free Will, and Determinism

Chapter:
(p.337) 14 Consciousness, Free Will, and Determinism
Source:
Real Materialism
Author(s):

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267422.003.0015

This chapter begins with some brief reflections on the definition of determinism, on the notion of the subject of experience, and on the relation between conscious experience and brain events. The main discussion focuses on the traditional view, endorsed by Honderich in his book, A Theory of Determinism, that the truth of determinism poses some special threat to our ordinary conception of ourselves as morally responsible free agents (and also to our ‘life-hopes’). It is argued that this is half right: the truth of determinism does indeed threaten certain vital parts of our ordinary conception of ourselves as morally responsible free agents. The trouble is that the falsity of determinism does not diminish the threat in any useful way. The old, natural, and recurrent mistake is to think that we would really be better off, so far as free will and moral responsibility (and our ‘life-hopes’) were concerned, if determinism was false. It is argued that there is no important sense in which this is true, and that the question of whether determinism is true or false is therefore of no real importance, so far as the free will debate is concerned.

Keywords:   free will, free action, determinism, indeterminism, life-hopes, Honderich, libertarianism, origination, moral responsibility

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .