Article first published online: 6 JUL 2005
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 449–459, July 2005
How to Cite
Dennett, D. C. (2005), NATURAL FREEDOM. Metaphilosophy, 36: 449–459. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2005.00383.x
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2005
- Article first published online: 6 JUL 2005
Abstract: Three critics of Freedom Evolves (Dennett 2003) bring out important differences in philosophical outlook and method. Mele's thought experiments are supposed to expose the importance, for autonomy, of personal history, but they depend on the dubious invocation of mere logical or conceptual possibility. Fischer defends the Basic Argument for incompatibilism, while Taylor and I choose to sidestep it instead of disposing of it. Where does the burden of proof lie? O'Connor's candid expression of allegiance to traditional ideas that I reject highlights a fundamental difference in assumptions about how—and why—to do philosophy. There are indeed definable varieties of free will that are incompatible with determinism. Do they matter? I have argued, against philosophical tradition, that they don't.