Natural Freedom
Dennett (Daniel)
Source: Metaphilosophy Vol. 36, No. 4, July 2005
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Three critics of "Dennett (Daniel) - Freedom Evolves" (2003) bring out important differences in philosophical outlook and method.
    • Mele's thought experiments1 are supposed to expose the importance, for autonomy, of personal history, but they depend on the dubious invocation of mere logical or conceptual possibility.
    • Fischer defends the 'basic argument' for incompatibilism, while Taylor and I choose to sidestep it instead of disposing of it. Where does the burden of proof lie?
    • O'Connor's candid expression of allegiance to traditional ideas that I reject highlights a fundamental difference in assumptions about how – and why – to do philosophy.
  2. There are indeed definable varieties of free will that are incompatible with determinism. Do they matter? I have argued, against philosophical tradition, that they don't.


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