The Routledge Companion to Free Will: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Free Will

1st Edition

Edited by Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith, Neil Levy


730 pages

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Questions concerning free will are intertwined with issues in almost every area of philosophy, from metaphysics to philosophy of mind to moral philosophy, and are also informed by work in different areas of science (principally physics, neuroscience and social psychology). Free will is also a perennial concern of serious thinkers in theology and in non-western traditions. Because free will can be approached from so many different perspectives and has implications for so many debates, a comprehensive survey needs to encompass an enormous range of approaches. This book is the first to draw together leading experts on every aspect of free will, from those who are central to the current philosophical debates, to non-western perspectives, to scientific contributions and to those who know the rich history of the subject. Its 61 chapters, commissioned especially for this volume from the world’s leading researchers, are framed by a General Introduction and briefer introductions for each of the six sections. A list of References, an annotated Suggested Reading list, and a short list of Related Topics are included at the end of each chapter.


"The philosophical literature on free will can seem as endless and difficult to navigate as Borges’ mythical 'Library of Babel.' This book is the map to that infinite-seeming collection of rooms. The editors have done an extraordinary job of assembling an excellent team of authors to cover every significant aspect of the vibrant contemporary literature on free will. This book should be at the fingertips of every student and scholar who works on free will."

Manuel Vargas, University of San Francisco, USA

"An exceptionally comprehensive guide to debates about free will and moral responsibility, with separate chapters covering different major positions, major arguments, historical figures, recent scientific work in the neurosciences, psychology and other fields, as well as implications for theology, criminal law, mind, self-control, addiction, will-power and many other topics. An invaluable resource for students and scholars alike on all these important topics."

Robert Kane, University of Texas, USA

Table of Contents

List of Contributors


Section I: Major Positions in the Free Will Debate introduction

1 Semicompatibilism

John Martin Fischer

2 Identificationist Views

Agnieszka Jaworska

3 Reasons-Responsive Theories of Freedom

Michael McKenna

4 Classical Compatibilism

Bernard Berofsky

5 Dispositional Compatibilism

Kadri Vihvelin

6 Event-Causal Libertarianism

Laura W. Ekstrom

7 Agent Causation

Meghan Griffith

8 Non-Causal Libertarianism

Hugh J. McCann

9 Strawsonian Views

Paul Russell

10 Revisionism

Kelly McCormick

11 Skepticism about Free Will

Derk Pereboom

12 Nonstandard Views

Saul Smilansky

Section II: Major Arguments introduction

13 The Consequence Argument

Joe Campbell

15 The Manipulation Argument

Kristin Mickelson

16 Frankfurt-style Examples

Carolina Sartorio

17 Logical Fatalism

Alicia Finch

18 The Luck and Mind Arguments

Christopher Evan Franklin

19 Leeway vs. Sourcehood Conceptions of Free Will

Kevin Timpe

Section III: Historical Figures introduction

20 Aristotle

Karen Margrethe Nielsen

21 The Stoics on Fate and Freedom

Tim O’Keefe

22 Augustine of Hippo

Jesse Couenhoven

23 Anselm of Canterbury

Sandra Visser

24 Thomas Aquinas

Harm Goris

25 John Duns Scotus

Thomas Williams

26 Rene Descartes

C.P. Ragland

27 Gottfried Leibniz

Julia Jorati

28 Thomas Hobbes and John Bramhall

A.P. Martinich

29 John Locke

Antonia LoLordo

30 David Hume

John Bricke

31 Immanuel Kant

Benjamin Vilhauer

32 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Christopher Yeomans

33 Friedrich Nietzsche

Mattia Riccardi

34 Thomas Reid

Terence Cuneo and Randall Harp

35 Indian Perspectives on Free Will

Arindam Chakrabarti

36 Chinese Perspectives on Free Will

Kai Marchal and Christian Helmut Wenzel

Section IV: Empirical and Scientific Work introduction

37 Situationism, Social Psychology, and Free Will

Christian Miller

38 Neuroscientific Threats to Free Will

Joshua Shepherd

39 Empirical Perspectives on Consciousness

Neil Levy

40 Willpower, Freedom, and Responsibility

Chandra Sripada

41 Addiction

Hanna Pickard

42 Folk Intuitions

Adam Feltz

43 Children’s Intuitions about Choice

Adam Bear and Paul Bloom

Section V: Free Will and Theology introduction

44 Free Will and the Problem of Evil

Daniel Speak

45 Free Will and Theological Fatalism

David P. Hunt

46 Free Will and Theological Determinism

Leigh Vicens

47 Free Will and Substance Dualism

Stewart Goetz

48 Free Will and Grace

Timothy Pawl

49 Free Will and Providence

Ken Perszyk

50 Divine Free Will

Tim Mawson

Section VI: Special Topics introduction

51 Self-control and Akrasia

Christine Tappolet

52 Free Will and Criminal Law

Erin Kelly

53 Deliberation

E.J. Coffman

54 Blame

Dana Nelkin

55 Relationship between Moral Responsibility and Freedom

Benjamin Rossi and Ted A. Warfield

56 A Feminist Approach to Free Will

Marina Oshana

57 Free Will and the Phenomenology of Agency

Tim Bayne

58 Mental Causation

Rebekah L.H. Rice

59 Marginal Agents and Responsibility Pluralism

David Shoemaker

60 Determinism

Charlotte Werndl

61 Free Will and Time Travel

Neal Tognazzini


About the Editors

Kevin Timpe holds the W. H. Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy at Calvin College. He has published a number of books on free will, including Free Will: Sourcehood and Its Alternatives, Second Edition (2013, Free Will in Philosophical Theology (2013), and Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns (2016).

Meghan Griffith is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Davidson College. She is the author of Free Will: The Basics (Routledge, 2013) and a number of articles centering on human agency.

Neil Levy is professor of philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney, and a senior researcher at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. He is the author of 7 books, including, most recently, Consciousness and Moral Responsibility (2014). He has published very widely on free will, moral responsibility, philosophy of mind, applied ethics and other topics.

About the Series

Routledge Philosophy Companions

Routledge Philosophy Companions offer thorough, high quality surveys and assessments of the major topics and periods in philosophy. Covering key problems, themes and thinkers, all entries are specially commissioned for each volume and written by leading scholars in the field. Clear, accessible and carefully edited and organised, Routledge Philosophy Companions are indispensable for anyone coming to a major topic or period in philosophy, as well as for the more advanced reader.

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