Reasons Debt to Freedom: Normative Appraisals, Reasons, and Free Will

Hardcover | June 6, 2012

byIshtiyaque Haji

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To have free will with respect to an act is to have the ability both to perform and to refrain from performing it. In this book, Ishtiyaque Haji argues that no one can have practical reasons of a certain sort - "objective reasons" - to perform some act unless one has free will regarding thatact. It follows that we cannot have objective reasons to perform an act unless we could have done otherwise. This is reason's debt to freedom. Haji argues, further, for the thesis that various things we value, such as moral and prudential obligation, intrinsic value, and a range of moral sentimentsthat figure centrally in interpersonal relationships, presuppose our having free will. They do so because each of these things essentially requires that we have objective reasons, the having of which, in turn, demands that we have alternatives. Finally, Haji distinguishes between two sorts of alternatives, strong or incompatibilist alternatives and weak or compatibilist alternatives.Assuming, on the one hand, that obligation and some of the other things we value require strong alternatives, he concludes that determinism precludes these things because determinism expunges strong alternatives. If, on the other hand, they require only weak alternatives, a chief compatibilistagenda of establishing the compatibility of these things with determinism without appeal to alternatives of any kind - the semi-compatibilist's agenda - is jeopardized.

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To have free will with respect to an act is to have the ability both to perform and to refrain from performing it. In this book, Ishtiyaque Haji argues that no one can have practical reasons of a certain sort - "objective reasons" - to perform some act unless one has free will regarding thatact. It follows that we cannot have objective...

Ish Haji is professor of philosophy at the University of Calgary. He has research interests in action theory, ethical theory, metaphysics, and philosophical psychology. His publications include Moral Appraisability, Deontic Morality and Control, Moral Responsibility, Authenticity, and Education ( with S. Cuypers), Freedom and Value, a...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:June 6, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199899207

ISBN - 13:9780199899203

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Table of Contents

1. Freedom, Normative Judgments, and Reason1.1. Freedom and Normative Judgments: The Basic Issues1.2. A Brief Outline2. Reasons and Alternative Possibilities2.1. Introduction2.2. Types of Reason2.3. A Requirement of Alternative Possibilities for Objective Pro Tanto Reasons2.3.1. "Wrong" Implies "Can"2.3.2. Objections to "Wrong" Implies "Can"2.4. An Alternative Possibilities Requirement for "Right," "Wrong," and "Obligation"2.5. Some Objections3. Moral Obligation, Prudential Obligation, and Alternative Possibilities3.1. Introduction3.2. Moral Obligation, Reason, and Alternative Possibilities3.3. Objections to the View that Moral Obligation Requires Alternatives3.3.1. A Problem with the Derivation3.3.2. The Challenge of Frankfurt Examples3.3.3. Reliance on "Ought" Implies "Can"3.4. Prudential Obligation, Reason, and Alternative Possibilities3.5. Objections to the View that Prudential Obligation Requires Alternatives3.5.1. Prudence or Self-Interest?3.5.2. Prudential Obligation and Objective Pro Tanto Reasons3.5.3. A Challenge from Frankfurt Examples4. Axiological Appraisals and Alternative Possibilities4.1. Introduction4.2. Intrinsic Value and Reasons4.3. A Requirement of Alternative Possibilities for Intrinsic Value4.4. The Morally Deontic's Dependence on the Axiological4.5. Pleasure and Reasons4.6. Virtue and Reasons5. Moral Sentiments and Alternative Possibilities5.1. Introduction5.2. Forgiveness and Reasons5.3. Indignation and Reasons5.4. Guilt, Sorrow, and Reasons5.5. Gratitude, Joy, Thankfulness, and Reasons5.6. The Moral Sentiments and Alternative Possibilities6. Determinism's Impact on Normative Judgments6.1. Introduction6.2. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and Normative Assessments6.2.1. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and Intrinsic Value6.2.2. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, Welfare, and Happiness6.2.3. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and Moral Responsibility6.2.4. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and the Moral Sentiments6.3. Libertarianism, Luck, and Normative Appraisals6.4. Compatibilism, Weak Alternatives, and Normative Judgments6.5. On the Viability of Semi-Compatibilism6.6. Revisiting Frankfurt Examples6.7. Other Varieties of Semi-CompatibilismAppendix A: Agent Causation and Luck7. Imperiled Compatibilist Approaches7.1. Introduction7.2. Strawsonian Semi-Compatibilism7.2.1. An Outline of Strawsonian Compatibilism7.2.2. Reactive Attitudes, Obligation, and Alternative Possibilities7.2.3. Another Pathway to Questioning Strawsonian Semi-Compatibilism7.3. Mesh Theories7.3.1. Hierarchical Control and Reason7.3.2. Assessment of the Revised Hierarchical View7.4. Wolf's Reason View7.5. Watson's Mesh Theory7.6. Concluding Remarks on Reasons-Responsiveness Accounts of Control8. Conclusion8.1. Summary of the Argument8.2. Primary Ramifications