Free Will, Responsibility, and Crime: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Free Will, Responsibility, and Crime

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Ken Levy

Routledge

216 pages

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Description

In his book, philosopher and law professor Ken Levy explains why he agrees with most people, but not with most other philosophers, about free will and responsibility.  Most people believe that we have both—that is, that our choices, decisions, and actions are neither determined nor undetermined but rather fully self-determined.  By contrast, most philosophers understand just how difficult it is to defend this "metaphysical libertarian" position.  So they tend to opt for two other theories: "Responsibility skepticism" (which denies the very possibility of free will and responsibility) and "compatibilism" (which reduces free will and responsibility to properties that are compatible with determinism). In opposition to both of these theories, Levy explains how free will and responsibility are indeed metaphysically possible. But he also cautions against the dogma that metaphysical libertarianism is actually true, a widespread belief that continues to cause serious social, political, and legal harms.

 Levy’s book presents a crisp, tight, historically informed discussion, with fresh clarity, insight, and originality. It will become one of the definitive resources for students, academics, and general readers in this critical intersection among metaphysics, ethics, and criminal law.

 Key Features

  • Presents a unique, qualified defense of "metaphysical libertarianism," the idea that our choices, decisions, and actions can be fully self-determined.
  • Written clearly, accessibly, and with minimal jargon – rare for a book on the very difficult issues of free will and responsibility.
  • Seamlessly connects philosophical, legal, psychological, and political issues.
  • Will be provocative and insightful for professional philosophers, students, and non-philosophers.

Table of Contents

Ch. 1. Incompatibilism Versus Compatibilism

Introduction

  1. Incompatibilism
  2. Indeterminism
  3. Compatibilists’ First Objection to Incompatibilism
  4. Metaphysical Libertarianism
  5. Three Possible Locations for Indeterminism
  6. Metaphysical Libertarianism’s Underlying Theory of the Self as Pure Substance
  7. Compatibilists’ Renewed Randomness Objection
  8. Two Problems with Metaphysical Libertarianism
  9. Compatibilism and the Harmony Condition
  10. Frankfurt’s Identification Theory
  11. Incompatibilists: Identification Is Insufficient for Free Will
  12. Traditional Compatibilism and the Ability to Do Otherwise
  13. Rationality Compatibilism
  14. Compatibilists Versus Metaphysical Libertarians
  15. Compatibilists Versus Free Will Skeptics

Conclusion

Ch. 2. New Compatibilism Versus the Ought-Implies-Can Principle

Introduction

  1. Five Definitions of Free Will
  2. Moral Responsibility
  3. Frankfurt’s Argument Against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities
  4. The Maxim Argument
  5. The Anti-Maxim Position
  6. Objections and Replies
  7. Why Frankfurt’s Conclusion Defeats the Maxim

Conclusion: A Revised Version of the Maxim

Ch. 3. Moral Responsibility Does Not Require the Power to Do Otherwise, But It Does Require at Least One Alternative Possibility

Introduction

  1. Three Objections to Frankfurt’s Argument Against PAP
  2. David Hunt’s Blockage Argument
  3. Hunt’s Neural Wall
  4. Why Hunt’s Blockage Argument Fails: The Dilemma Argument Against Blockage
  5. Implications for Incompatibilism

Conclusion

Ch. 4. The Puzzle of Responsibility

Introduction

  1. The Responsibility Axiom and Two Kinds of Blameless Wrongdoing
  2. The Blameless Wrongdoer Argument
  3. A Working Conception of Responsibility
  4. The Sympathy Argument
  5. Just Criminal Punishment Does Not Necessarily Require Responsibility

Conclusion

Ch. 5. Contrary to Responsibility Skepticism, Metaphysical Libertarianism Is Metaphysically Possible

Introduction

  1. Responsibility Skepticism
  2. The Responsibility Skeptic’s Objection to Robert Kane’s Defense of Metaphysical Libertarianism
  3. Supplementing Kane’s Metaphysical Libertarianism with Susan Wolf’s Rationalist Theory of Responsibility
  4. The Randomness Objection
  5. One Last Defense of Metaphysical Libertarianism Over Responsibility Skepticism
  6. Agent Causation

Conclusion

Ch. 6. The Dark Side of Metaphysical Libertarianism

Introduction

  1. The Self-Made-Man Postulate
  2. Success Is (Almost?) Entirely a Matter of Good Luck
  3. Constitutive Luck and Responsibility Skepticism
  4. Situational Luck
  5. Failure Is (Almost?) Entirely a Matter of Bad Luck

Conclusion

Ch. 7. Criminal Responsibility Does Not Require Moral Responsibility: Psychopaths

Introduction

  1. Psychopathy Defined
  2. A. A Working Definition of Psychopathy

    B. Psychological Community’s Definition

    C. Possible Problems with the PCL-R

    D. Differences Between Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder

  3. Three Consequentialist Reasons for Criminally Punishing Psychopaths
  4. Three Arguments that Psychopaths Are Not Morally Responsible for Their Criminal Behavior
  5. A. First Argument that Psychopaths Are Not Morally Responsible for Their Criminal Behavior: Inability to Grasp Moral Reasons

    B. Second Argument that Psychopaths Are Not Morally Responsible for Their Criminal Behavior: Inability To Do Otherwise

    C. Third Argument that Psychopaths Are Not Morally Responsible for Their Criminal Behavior: No Self-Control

  6. The Insanity Defense
  7. A. Assumptions Underlying the Insanity Defense

    B. Different Versions of the Insanity Defense

  8. Four Arguments that Psychopaths Are Insane
  9. A. First Argument that Psychopaths Are Insane

    B. Second Argument that Psychopaths Are Insane

    C. Third Argument that Psychopaths Are Insane

    D. Fourth Argument that Psychopaths Are Insane

  10. Why the Criminal Justice System Regards Psychopaths as Criminally Responsible
  11. Why Psychopaths Are Criminally Responsible Even Though They Are Not Morally Responsible

A. Why Criminal Responsibility Does Not Require Moral Responsibility

B. Why Moral or Emotional Understanding of the Law Is Not Necessary for Criminal Responsibility

C. Psychopaths Have Sufficient Control over Their Behavior

Conclusion

 

Ch. 8. Criminal Responsibility Does Not Require Moral Responsibility: Situationism

Introduction

  1. The Excuses
  2. A. Stephen Morse's Dualist Theory of the Excuses

    B. A Monist Theory of the Excuses

  3. Situationism and Moral Responsibility
  4. A. Our Nearly Universal Capacity for Evil

    B. The Dispositionism Paradox

    C. Situationism and Norm-Compliance

    D. Stanley Milgram's Shock Experiment

    E. Arguments for Recognizing Situationism as a Moral Excuse

  5. Situationism and Criminal Responsibility
  6. The Insanity Defense: Two Final Objections

Conclusion

 

Ch. 9. Addiction, Indoctrination, and Responsibility

Introduction

  1. Addiction
  2. The "Addiction Negates Responsibility" Argument
  3. Addiction Versus Weakness of Will
  4. The Disease theory Is Actually Consistent with Responsibility for Addiction
  5. Indoctrination
  6. Doxastic Control
  7. Greedy, Addict, Mr. Insane, and the Dangers of Responsibility Skepticism

Conclusion

About the Author

Ken M. Levy is the Holt B. Harrison Professor of Law at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center of Louisiana State University. He has written chapters for anthologies published by Oxford, Routledge, and Sage. His work in philosophy has been published in such journals as American Philosophical Quarterly, The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Law & Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophia, Philosophical Studies, and Synthese (among others). And his work in legal theory has been published in such journals as Arkansas Law Review, Connecticut Law Review, Georgia Law Review, Jurisprudence, New Mexico Law Review, Rutgers Law Review, and San Diego Law Review (among others).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI000000
PHILOSOPHY / General