The question whether human choices and actions are causally determined or are in a way free, and the implications of this for our moral, personal and social lives continues to challenge philosophers. This book explores the determinist rejection of free will through a detailed exposition of the central determinist argument and a consideration of the responses to each of its premises. At every stage familiar examples and case studies help frame and ground the argument. The discussion is at no time peremptory and the invitation to the reader to be drawn in and to contribute to the debate as an engaged participant is palpable in the manner and approach adopted throughout. "Free Will" will be welcomed by students looking for an engaging and clear introduction to the subject, and as a rigorous exercise in philosophical argument it will serve, for the beginning student new to philosophy, as an excellent springboard into the subject more generally.
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements 1. Free will: the issue 2. Determinism: exposition 3. Determinism: qualifications and clarifications 4. Libertarianism: two varieties 5. Compatibilism I: the utilitarian position 6. Compatibilism II: the two-language view 7. The irrelevance of determinism 8. The very idea of causal necessity 9. Conclusions and reflections on philosophical method Appendix: chaos theory and determinism Notes Further reading Bibliography Index