Abstract/Details

Freedom and responsibility: An agent -causal view


2003 2003

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Abstract (summary)

In this dissertation, I argue that we ought to accept an agent-causal view of free and responsible action. First, I set the stage for this claim by highlighting our intuitions regarding moral responsibility and freedom, and by ruling out competing positions. I support Harry Frankfurt's claim that responsibility does not require the ability to do otherwise. I go beyond this claim, however, to argue that responsibility requires that one be the true originator of one's action, and that this requires a kind of freedom that is incompatible with determinism. To bolster this last claim, I argue against the compatibilist, “guidance control” view of John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza. I believe the weaknesses of their interesting and compelling view denote potential problems for any compatibilist position. After arguing for incompatibilism, I argue against non-agent-causal incompatibilist views. Specifically, I argue against Robert Kane's “teleological intelligibility theory.”

In the final chapters of my project, I lay out my agent-causal view. I argue that agent-causation is possible and coherent if one accepts a realist view of causes. I appeal to Randolph Clarke's idea that the relation between agent and cause is the same relation as that between event and cause. This serves to alleviate the “mysteriousness” of agent-causation. Having shown that it is possible and coherent, and having ruled out competing views in preceding chapters, I am now in position to claim that agent-causation is the correct view. I also demonstrate that it is a compelling position in its own right because it accords with our most basic understanding of ourselves as agents.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy
Classification
0422: Philosophy
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology, Agent-causal, Clarke, Randolph, Fischer, John Martin, Freedom, John Martin Fischer, Kane, Robert, Mark Ravizza, Randolph Clarke, Ravizza, Mark, Responsibility, Robert Kane
Title
Freedom and responsibility: An agent -causal view
Author
Griffith, Meghan Elizabeth
Number of pages
153
Publication year
2003
Degree date
2003
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 64/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780493997032, 0493997032
Advisor
Chappell, Vere C.
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3078689
ProQuest document ID
305322328
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305322328
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