Natures Challenge to Free Will

Hardcover | February 15, 2012

byBernard Berofsky

not yet rated|write a review
Hardly any attempt to come to grips with the classical problem of free will and determinism directly addresses the metaphysical vision driving the concerns of those who believe that a significant sort of free will cannot exist in a deterministic world. According to this vision of such a world,all events, including human decisions and actions, take place as they must because the world is governed by necessity. Most philosophers who believe that free will is possible in a deterministic world ignore this root position, often regarding it as sufficient to cite considerations about moralresponsibility, human agency, or the prerequisites for a society. Bernard Berofsky addresses that metaphysical picture directly. Nature's Challenge to Free Will offers an original defense of Humean Compatibilism. A Humean Compatibilist bases the belief in the compatibility of free will and determinism on David Hume's view that laws do not affirm the existence ofnecessary connections in nature. Berofsky offers a new formulation of Hume's position, given that, until now, there has been no acceptable version. His conclusion that free will is compatible with determinism is based as well upon a defense of the existence of psychological laws as autonomousrelative to physical laws. He rejects appeals to the unalterability of laws (as in the Consequence Argument) on the grounds that this principle fails for psychological laws. Efforts to bypass this result by trying to establish that all laws are reducible to physical laws or that psychological statessupervene on physical states are shown to fail. Berofsky concludes that the existence of free will as self-determination together with the power of genuine choice is not threatened even if we live in a deterministic world.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$44.54 online
$78.95 list price (save 43%)
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Hardly any attempt to come to grips with the classical problem of free will and determinism directly addresses the metaphysical vision driving the concerns of those who believe that a significant sort of free will cannot exist in a deterministic world. According to this vision of such a world,all events, including human decisions and a...

Bernard Berofsky is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He completed his PhD at Columbia University, and has held positions at the University of Michigan and Vassar College. Since 1970 he has been editor of the Journal of Philosophy. Berofsky is the author of Liberation from Self: A Theory of Personal Autonomy (Cambridge, 1...

other books by Bernard Berofsky

Determinism
Determinism

Kobo ebook|Mar 1 2015

$48.49 online$62.93list price(save 22%)
Liberation From Self: A Theory of Personal Autonomy
Liberation From Self: A Theory of Personal Autonomy

Hardcover|Sep 29 1995

$116.09 online$150.95list price(save 23%)
Determinism
Determinism

Hardcover|Apr 19 2016

$150.00

Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:February 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199640017

ISBN - 13:9780199640010

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Natures Challenge to Free Will

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Concepts of Free Will3. Autonomy and Self-Determination4. Source Incompatibilism5. Conditionalist Compatibilism6. Causal Compatibilism7. The Consequence Argument and Determinism8. The Unalterability of Laws and the Reductionist Strategy9. Supervenience, Autonomy, and Physicalism10. The Regularity Theory I: Humean Supervenience11. The Regularity Theory II: Laws and Accidental Generalizations12. Free Will in a Deterministic WorldAcknowledgementsBibliographyIndex