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Four Views on Free Will

ISBN: 978-1-4051-3485-9
244 pages
July 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Four Views on Free Will (1405134852) cover image
Focusing on the concepts and interactions of free will, moral responsibility, and determinism, this text represents the most up-to-date account of the four major positions in the free will debate.

  • Four serious and well-known philosophers explore the opposing viewpoints of libertarianism, compatibilism, hard incompatibilism, and revisionism
  • The first half of the book contains each philosopher’s explanation of his particular view; the second half allows them to directly respond to each other’s arguments, in a lively and engaging conversation
  • Offers the reader a one of a kind, interactive discussion
  • Forms part of the acclaimed Great Debates in Philosophy series
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Notes on Contributors.

Acknowledgments.

A Brief Introduction to Some Terms and Concepts.

1. Libertarianism ((Robert Kane).

2. Compatibilism (John Martin Fischer).

3. Hard Incompatibilism (Derk Pereboom).

4. Revisionism (Manuel Vargas).

5. Response to Fischer, Pereboom, and Vargas (Robert Kane).

6. Response to Kane, Pereboom, and Vargas (John Martin Fischer).

7. Response to Kane, Fischer, and Vargas (Derk Pereboom).

8. Response to Kane, Fischer, and Pereboom (Manuel Vargas).

Bibliography.

Index.
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John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, where he is a holder of a UC President's Chair. He is the author of The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control (Blackwell 1994); Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (with Mark Ravizza, 1998); and My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility (2006). He has written extensively on free will, moral responsibility, the metaphysics of death, ethics, and the philosophy of religion.

Robert Kane is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the The University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Free Will and Values (1985), Through the Moral Maze (1994), The Significance of Free Will (1996), A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (2005) and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Free Will (2002) and a collection of readings, Free Will (Blackwell, 2002). He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Derk Pereboom is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vermont, where he has been since 1985. He will join the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University in 2007. His book, Living Without Free Will (Cambridge University Press) appeared in 2001, and he has published articles on free will, philosophy of mind, history of modern philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Manuel Vargas is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco. He has published articles on a range of topics, including free will and moral responsibility, practical reason, evil, and Latin American philosophy.

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  • A balanced and enlightening account of the major positions in the free will debate
  • Four serious and well-known philosophers explore the opposing viewpoints of libertarianism, compatibilism, hard incompatibilism, and revisionism
  • The first half of the book contains each philosopher’s explanation of his particular view; the second half allows them to directly respond to each other’s arguments, in a lively and engaging conversation
  • Offers the reader a one of a kind, interactive discussion
  • Forms part of the acclaimed Great Debates in Philosophy series
See More
This book presents four recent positions on free will in a clear and accessible way, along with their authors responses to each other s position. The discussion carries the discussion of the free will problem forward, and moreover raises interesting metaphilosophical questions about the debate itself: Where is this debate going? Where might it go next? Where should it go next? (Metaphilosophy, January 2009)

Four Views on Free Will serves as an excellent introduction to many of the central issues in the contemporary free will and moral responsibility literature. It is very readable; the chapters are approachable for advanced undergraduates or graduate students, and it has a very helpful and thorough index for cross-referencing topics between the various chapters. (Social Theory and Practice, April 2009)

The four main essays are clearly written and argued, and the shorter articles are very useful as illustrations of how philosophers debate. Highly recommended. (Choice Reviews)

"There is no better introduction to the debate available. This is a book that will be read with profit by anyone who opens it, specialist or newcomer."
Neil Levy, Metapsychology Online Reviews

"Four Views on Free Will is an excellent introduction to the current debate regarding one of the most seductive of the perennial topics in philosophy. It is an especially welcome addition to Blackwell's "Great Debates in Philosophy" series. The goal is the presentation of a considerably more dialogical and engaging introduction to the main issues in an important domain of philosophical inquiry than can typically be achieved in a standard monograph. Four Views succeeds admirably in achieving this worthwhile goal."
Daniel Speak, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"This gem of a book provides a wonderfully accessible introduction to the free will debate by leading proponents of four major views, as well as a front row seat to a dynamic, up-to-the minute philosophical conversation."
–Dana Nelkin, University of California at San Diego

"This four-way debate is a fine addition to the Great Debates in Philosophy series. Four Views on Free Will is ideal for advanced undergraduate courses on free will."
–Alfred R. Mele, Florida State University

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