more from Roderick Chisholm

Single Idea 9268

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will]

Full Idea

Chisholm holds the quaint doctrine that human freedom entails an absence of causal determination; a free action is a miracle. This gives no basis for doubting that animals have such freedom; and why would we care whether we can interrupt the causal order?

Gist of Idea

If free will miraculously interrupts causation, animals might do that; why would we want to do it?


comment on Roderick Chisholm (Human Freedom and the Self [1964]) by Harry G. Frankfurt - Freedom of the Will and concept of a person žIV

Book Reference

'Free Will', ed/tr. Watson,Gary [OUP 1982], p.93

A Reaction

[compressed] Chisholm is the spokesman for 'agent causation', Frankfurt for freedom as second-level volitions. I'm with Frankfurt. The belief in 'agents' and 'free will' may sound plausible, until the proposal is spelled out in causal terms.