Free Will and the Law: New Perspectives, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Free Will and the Law

New Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Allan McCay, Michael Sevel


230 pages

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Hardback: 9781472481443
pub: 2019-02-21
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This volume brings together many of the world’s leading theorists of free will and philosophers of law to critically discuss the ground-breaking contribution of David Hodgson’s libertarianism and its application to philosophy of law.

The book begins with a comprehensive introduction, providing an overview of the intersection of theories of free will and philosophy of law over the last fifty years. The eleven chapters collected together divide into two groups: the first five address libertarianism within the free will debate, with particular attention to Hodgson’s theory, and in Part II, six contributors discuss Hodgson’s libertarianism in relation to issues not often pursued by free will scholars, such as mitigation of punishment, the responsibility of judges, the nature of judicial reasoning and the criminal law process more generally. Thus the volume’s importance lies not only in examining Hodgson’s distinctive libertarian theory from within the free will literature, but also in considering new directions for research in applying that theory to enduring questions about legal responsibility and punishment. 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Allan McCay and Michael Sevel Part I: Libertarian Free Will 2. Making Sense of Libertarian Free Will: Consciousness, Science and Laws of Nature, Robert Kane 3. Conscious Gestalts, Apposite Responses and Libertarian Freedom, Laura W. Ekstrom 4. Occam’s Shopper: The Costs of Plausible Reasoning, Neil Levy 5. The Luck Argument Against Libertarianism, Bernard Berofsky 6. Frankfurt-Style Examples, Impermissibility, and Reasons-Responsiveness, Ishtiyaque Haji Part II: Libertarian Free Will and the Law 7. How Judges are Free to Decide Cases, Michael Sevel 8. Responsible Agency in the Criminal Process, R.A. Duff 9. Hodgson on Retribution, Michael Louis Corrado 10. Why Capacity Matters: Is it Fair to Treat People Like That, Like That, for That? Nicole A Vincent 11. Mitigation is Difficult: A Moral Evaluation of a Mitigation Practice at Sentencing, Allan McCay 12. David Hodgson’s Theory of Plausible Reasoning, Christopher Birch

About the Editors

Allan McCay teaches at the University of Sydney Foundation Program and is a researcher at the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics at Macquarie University. He is also a lecturer at the University of Sydney Law School.

Michael Sevel is Senior Lecturer in Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney Law School.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Ethics & Professional Responsibility