Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility

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The problem of free will has fascinated philosophers since ancient times: Do we have free will, or at least the kind of free will that seems necessary for moral responsibility? Does determinism a€“ the idea that everything that happens is necessitated to happen, given the past and the laws of nature a€“ threaten the commonly held assumption that we are indeed free and morally responsible? Although these questions have been widely discussed in the past, the present volume offers a variety of new perspectives from philosophers who have made significant contributions to this debate over recent years, including Derk Pereboom, Robert Kane, Ishtiyaque Haji, Michael McKenna, John Martin Fischer, David Widerker and Saul Smilansky. The emphasis in these essays is not merely on free will, but on allied notions such as moral responsibility, moral obligation, fairness and meaningfulness, and on whether any room can be made for these notions in a deterministic or an indeterministic universe.But, in addition, I contend that a conception of life without this type of free will would not be devastating to morality or to our sense of meaning ... performed the action, given an understanding of its moral status, and not, for example, by virtue of consequentialist considerations, or solely by way of a contractualist account. ... has its cost to our ordinary self-conception, this cost is not as high as is often thought.

Title:Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility
Author:Nick Trakakis, Daniel Cohen
Publisher:Cambridge Scholars Publishing - 2009-05-05


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