The Limits of Free Will contains a selection of papers concerning free will and moral responsibility. The problems arising in this field of philosophy, which are deeply rooted in the history of the subject, are also intimately related to a wide range of other fields, such as law and criminology, moral psychology, theology, and, more recently, neuroscience. The papers included in this collection were written and first published over a period of three decades,although most have appeared in the past decade or so. During this period this area of philosophy has been particularly active and it continues to attract a great deal of interest and attention. Among the topics covered, as they relate to these problems, are the challenge of skepticism; moral sentiment andmoral capacity; necessity and the metaphysics of causation; practical reason; free will and art; fatalism and the limits of agency; and our metaphysical attitudes of optimism and pessimism. Some of the papers in this collection are primarily critical in character, presenting critiques and commentary on major works or contributions in the contemporary scene. Others are mainly constructive, aiming to develop and articulate a distinctive account of compatibilism. The general theory advanced, which is described as a form of "critical compatibilism", rejects any form of unqualified or radical skepticism but also insists that a plausible compatibilism has significant and substantiveimplications about the limits of agency and argues that this licenses a metaphysical attitude of (modest) pessimism on this topic. Finally, each paper in this collection is self-standing and can be read in isolation from the others. There is, nevertheless, a core set of themes and issues that unite andlink them all together. The collection is arranged and organized in a format that enables the reader to appreciate and recognize these links and the core themes that unite them.
The Limits of Free Will
av Paul Russell
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