1st Edition

Free Will’s Value Criminal Justice, Pride, and Love

By John Lemos Copyright 2023

    This book defends an event-causal theory of libertarian free will and argues that the belief in such free will plays an important, if not essential, role in supporting certain important values.

    In the first part of the book, the author argues that possession of libertarian free will is necessary for deserved praise and blame and reward and punishment. He contends that his version of libertarian free will – the indeterministic weightings view – is coherent and can fit with a scientific, naturalistic understanding of human nature. However, the author also notes that we don’t have sufficient evidentiary grounds to believe that human beings have this kind of free will. Despite this, he argues there are sufficiently strong value-based/axiological reasons to believe we have such free will and to live and act as if we have it. In the second part of the book, the author makes the case that the belief in such libertarian, desert-grounding free will is very important to defending human dignity in the context of criminal justice, making sense of justified pride and its value, and adding value to our relationships.

    Free Will’s Value will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, action theory, ethics, and the philosophy of law.

    1. Problems for Compatibilism: Manipulation Arguments and the Argument from Unfairness

    2. Robert Kane’s Libertarian Theory

    3. Bruce Waller on Luck, Control, and the Evolutionary Implausibility of Libertarianism

    4. More Worries About Luck and Control: Pereboom and Caruso

    5. Can Libertarians Reasonably Embrace Reductive Physicalism?  Moore’s Challenge

    6. The Indeterministic Weightings View of Libertarian Free Will

    7. Libertarian Free Will and Criminal Justice: Part One

    8. Libertarian Free Will and Criminal Justice: Part Two

    9. In Defense of the Axiological Justification for Belief in Libertarian Free Will

    10. Fulfillment, Justified Pride, and Libertarian Free Will

    11. Libertarian Free Will and Love’s Value


    John Lemos is the Joseph McCabe Professor of Philosophy at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is the author of Commonsense Darwinism: Evolution, Morality, and the Human Condition (2008), Freedom, Responsibility, and Determinism (2013), and A Pragmatic Defense of Libertarian Free Will (2018). He has also published over 30 articles in various philosophical journals such as The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Dialectica, Law and Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, Philosophia, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy.

    "In Free Will’s Value, John Lemos has developed a rich, rigorous, and plausible account of classic libertarian free will and provided a deeply insightful guide to its personal and social implications. Anyone rejecting libertarian free will without considering Lemos’ powerful pragmatic version of that position is attacking a strawman."

    Bruce N. Waller, Youngstown State University, USA