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Causes, Laws, and Free Will


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CONTENTS Chapter 1 The Problem Introduced: Would Determinism Rob us of Free Will? 1. Free Will, Ability to do Otherwise, and the Basic Argument 2. Determinism and some Distinctions 3. Narrow Ability, Wide Ability, and the No Choice Argument 4. The Basic Argument Extended and Two Ways of Replying: Metaphysical Compatibilism and Moral Compatibilism 5. How I propose to Navigate the Treacherous Waters of the Free Will/Determinism Problem: A First Road Map of the Book Chapter 2 The Problem Distinguished: Is it Possible for Us to Have Free Will? Do We Have Free Will? 1. Two Questions about Free Will: The Possibility Question and the Determinism Question 2. Some Remarks about Methodology 3. The Existential Question and Common Sense Compatibilism 4. Impossibilism: Five Arguments for Fatalism 5. Hard Determinism or Impossibilism? Five Versions of the Clarence Darrow Argument Chapter 3 Abilities, Choices, and Agent Causation 1. What This Chapter is About and Why 2. The Common Sense View (and the Limits of Common Sense) 3. Two Steps Beyond Common Sense: Limited Laws Indeterminism and Agent Causation 4. Are Events the only Causes? Could an Object be a Cause? 5. Could an Agent be a Cause? 6. Where We Are Now Chapter 4 The Unavoidability of Metaphysics: Moral Responsibility and Ability to do Otherwise 1. Alternatives, Choice, and Moral Responsibility 2. Frankfurt's Bold Gambit and the Long Debate that Followed 3. Two Ways of Getting Someone to Do What you Want 4. Heads I Win, Tails you Lose 5. Why There is No Middle Way (Why Putting the Pre-Emptor on the Scene Doesn't Help) 6. Freedom of Action, Freedom of Will, and Three Ways of Having a Choice 7. Frankfurt's Intuition Reconsidered: Why the Subtraction Argument Fails, Why the Supervenience Argument Fails 8. Lessons for Compatibilists Chapter 5 Arguments for Incompatibilism 1. No Forking Paths Argument 2. No Present Causes Argument 3. No Agent Causes Argument 4. No Inner Commander Argument 5. Manipulation Arguments 6. The Consequence Argument Chapter 6 The Abilities and Dispositions of our Freedom 1. The Big Picture: the Bundle View 2. Abilities and Dispositions 3. Dispositions and Counterfactuals 4. The Intrinsic Dispositions Thesis and Frankfurt's Argument 5. Wide Abilities, Choice, and the Consequence Argument 6. Historical Interlude: Objections to the Simple Conditional Analysis Reconsidered 7. Virtues of the Bundle View Chapter 7 Laws, Counterfactuals, and Fixed Past Compatibilism 1. What this Chapter is About and Why 2. How the Laws Constrain 3. Counterfactuals and Our Experience of Choice 4. Counterfactuals: From Goodman to Lewis 5. Choice Counterfactuals and Fixed Past Compatibilism 6. Concluding Remarks Notes References Index

About the Author

Kadri Vihvelin was born in Canada and educated at Oxford and Cornell. She now lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, where she is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. She has published papers on a variety of topics at the intersection of metaphysics and ethics, including free will, causation, counterfactuals, the doing/allowing distinction, moral responsibility, and the unfreedom of the time traveler.


"[A] detailed and rigorous inquiry into the classic free will debate."--Christopher Evan Franklin, Notre Dame Philosophical Review

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