Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Agents’ Histories

Type: 
Colloquium Talks
Audience: 
Open to the Public
Building: 
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Room: 
Popper Room
Monday, March 26, 2018 - 5:30pm
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Date: 
Monday, March 26, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

A common idea in the literature on free will and moral responsibility is that all that is needed for free action and for moral responsibility for an action is present in an agent’s internal condition at the time of action. Here, an agent’s internal condition at a time may be understood as something specified by the collection of all psychological truths about the agent at the time that are silent on how he came to be as he is at that time. I will argue that this idea should be rejected and, moreover, that it should be rejected both by compatibilists about free will and moral responsibility and by incompatibilist believers in free will and moral responsibility. Topics addressed include the bearing of various cases of manipulation on the assessment of the common idea at issue and how incompatibilist believers in free will and moral responsibility may plausibly deal with the problem of present luck.