Compatibilism

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    Baker, Lynne Rudder

     (173K)

    Moral Responsibility Without Libertarianism

    "I shall defend compatibilism in two steps: First, I shall argue that libertarianism is false: no one has libertarian freedom. So, if moral responsibility entails libertarianism, then we are never morally responsible for anything that we do. Second, since I do believe that we are morally responsible for certain of our actions, I shall propose nonlibertarian (i.e., compatibilist) conditions for moral responsibility—a ReflectiveEndorsement view. I shall add to Harry Frankfurt’s compatibilist conditions to make them sufficient for moral responsibility. Then, I shall defend compatibilism against a recent sustained attack by Derk Pereboom."
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    Baker, Lynne Rudder

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    Why Christians Should Not Be Libertarians: An Augustinian Challenge

    "The prevailing view of Christian philosophers today seems to be that Christianity requires a libertarian conception of free will. Focusing on Augustine’s mature anti-Pelagian works, I try to show that the prevailing view is in error. Specifically, I want to show that—on Augustine’s view of grace—a libertarian account of free will is irrelevant to salvation. On Augustine’s view, the grace of God through Christ is sufficient as well as necessary for salvation. Salvation is entirely in the hands of God, totally independent of anything that any human being might do. And faith, the human response to salvation, is best understood in terms of a compatibilist account of freedom."
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    Hume, David

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    Our Freedom Reconciled with Determinism

    "Following on closely from his discussions of causation and of determinism, which are best read first, the blessed David here gives what has become the most famous expression of the doctrine that determinism and freedom are perfectly consistent. Certainly he clarifies the declaration of Thomas Hobbes. He offers, too, a diagnosis of why the controversy about freedom was already an old one in his 18th Century."
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    McKenna, Michael

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    Compatibilism: The State of the Art

    "Those interested in the state of the art are invited to read this supplementary section. It surveys six of the positions currently on stage. Each view will receive only a brief discussion. [For other survey-oriented discussions of the state of the art for compatibilism, see the fine essays by Berofsky (2002), Haji (2002), and Russell (2002b) in Kane, ed. (2002).] More advanced treatment is best found in the current journals or directly from the relevant author's book-length treatments."
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    McKenna, Michael

     (340K)

    Compatibilism

    "Compatibilism offers a solution to the free will problem. This philosophical problem concerns a disputed incompatibility between free will and determinism. Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism. Because free will is taken to be a necessary condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism."