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Freedom and ReflectionHegel and the Logic of Agency$
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Christopher Yeomans

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794522

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794522.001.0001

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The Externality of Explanations and The Problem of an Infinite Regress

The Externality of Explanations and The Problem of an Infinite Regress

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 The Externality of Explanations and The Problem of an Infinite Regress
Source:
Freedom and Reflection
Author(s):

Christopher Yeomans

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794522.003.0003

This chapter presents a form of doubt or scepticism about free will that derives from basic commitments to the form of explanation that the principle of sufficient reason requires us to hold as valid for worldly phenomena. The chapter argues that there is a coherent form to this scepticism that is independent of specifically modal or causal interpretations of explicability, and that the only way to respond to such scepticism is to get clear about what the explanatory relation involves. This form of doubt about the reality of free will is traced through Hegel's own modern predecessors and contemporaries, and also into the current philosophy of action, particular in the form of arguments that attempt to show that self-determination inevitably involves an infinite regress.

Keywords:   Hegel, free will, Galen Strawson, principle of sufficient reason, explanation

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