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Two intuitions about free will: Alternative possibilities and intentional endorsement

Rabinowicz, Wlodek LU and List, Christian (2014) In Philosophical Perspectives 28(1). p.155-172
Abstract
Free will is widely thought to require (i) the possibility of acting otherwise and (ii) the making of choices that are intentionally endorsed, not just indeterministically picked. According to (i), a necessary condition for free will is agential-level indeterminism: at some points in time, an agent’s prior history admits more than one possible continuation. According to (ii), however, this indeterminism may threaten freedom: if each of several distinct actions could have been actualized, then none of them is necessitated by the agent’s prior history, and the actual action

seems nothing more than the result of indeterministic picking. We argue that this tension is only

apparent, distinguishing between actions an agent can... (More)
Free will is widely thought to require (i) the possibility of acting otherwise and (ii) the making of choices that are intentionally endorsed, not just indeterministically picked. According to (i), a necessary condition for free will is agential-level indeterminism: at some points in time, an agent’s prior history admits more than one possible continuation. According to (ii), however, this indeterminism may threaten freedom: if each of several distinct actions could have been actualized, then none of them is necessitated by the agent’s prior history, and the actual action

seems nothing more than the result of indeterministic picking. We argue that this tension is only

apparent, distinguishing between actions an agent can possibly do and actions he or she can do with endorsement (or rationally do). One can consistently say that someone who makes a particular choice has several alternative possibilities, and yet that, far from merely indeterministically picking one of them, the agent chooses an action he or she endorses. An implication is that although free will can consistently require (i) and (ii), it cannot generally require the possibility of acting otherwise with endorsement. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
free will, freedom, determinism, indeterminism, possibility, endorsement, alternative actions
in
Philosophical Perspectives
volume
28
issue
1
pages
155 - 172
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84919477347
  • wos:000346724300008
ISSN
1520-8583
DOI
10.1111/phpe.12043
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cd6ee22d-a650-4f15-932c-beab7cbf70d9 (old id 4857913)
date added to LUP
2014-12-16 11:20:00
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:40:33
@article{cd6ee22d-a650-4f15-932c-beab7cbf70d9,
  abstract     = {Free will is widely thought to require (i) the possibility of acting otherwise and (ii) the making of choices that are intentionally endorsed, not just indeterministically picked. According to (i), a necessary condition for free will is agential-level indeterminism: at some points in time, an agent’s prior history admits more than one possible continuation. According to (ii), however, this indeterminism may threaten freedom: if each of several distinct actions could have been actualized, then none of them is necessitated by the agent’s prior history, and the actual action<br/><br>
seems nothing more than the result of indeterministic picking. We argue that this tension is only<br/><br>
apparent, distinguishing between actions an agent can possibly do and actions he or she can do with endorsement (or rationally do). One can consistently say that someone who makes a particular choice has several alternative possibilities, and yet that, far from merely indeterministically picking one of them, the agent chooses an action he or she endorses. An implication is that although free will can consistently require (i) and (ii), it cannot generally require the possibility of acting otherwise with endorsement.},
  author       = {Rabinowicz, Wlodek and List, Christian},
  issn         = {1520-8583},
  keyword      = {free will,freedom,determinism,indeterminism,possibility,endorsement,alternative actions},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {155--172},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Philosophical Perspectives},
  title        = {Two intuitions about free will: Alternative possibilities and intentional endorsement},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/phpe.12043},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2014},
}