Author

Tommy Fung

Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2010

Capstone Advisor

Mark Heller

Honors Reader

Robert Van Gulick

Capstone Major

Philosophy

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Humanities

Subject Categories

Other Philosophy | Philosophy

Abstract

This project outlines what free will and moral responsibility would require in the truest sense, and will argue that we, as agents, do not truly exercise free will, and are thus not morally responsible for our choices. The project dismisses the Principle of Alternate Possibilities as the judge of moral responsibility, while establishing that being the source of one’s action is required for true moral responsibility. It discusses what causal determinism is, why its existence would threaten moral responsibility. The project then attacks the stance that holds that moral responsibility and determinism are compatible, even though they have a different standard for free will and moral responsibility, through a generalization argument. The project then attacks libertarianism, arguably the common sense position, by stating that even if causal determinism doesn’t hold, we still do not have free will and moral responsibility. It is argued that even in the case of indeterminism stemming from our characters, either our characters are either determined, or come about through partial randomness. The incompatibilist stance I take precludes both deterministic factors and random factors as sources of free will. Thus we, as agents, as much as we treasure freedom and moral responsibility, can be shown to not meet any of the requirements, so we are never truly responsible for our actions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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