What is Human Freedom?
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Philosophical Workshop on Free Will, San Raffaele University, Milan (Italy), June 1, 2005.
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. After centuries of reflection, the issue of human freedom remains vital largely because of its connection to moral responsibility. When I ask — What is human freedom? — I mean to be asking what kind of freedom is required for moral responsibility? Questions about moral responsibility are intimately connected to questions about social policy and justice; so, the issue of moral responsibility — of desert, of whether or not anyone is ever really praiseworthy or blameworthy — has practical as well as theoretical significance.
  2. I start with two assumptions:
    … 1) Human persons are a natural part of the natural world, and so are under whatever laws govern the rest of the natural world.
    … 2) Nevertheless, human persons are free in a way that other beings are not.
  3. With these two assumptions, I shall first say what human freedom is not; then I shall explain what I think human freedom is. Then I shall formulate sufficient conditions for moral responsibility, and conclude with some thoughts on the pervasiveness of luck.

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