CAN SELF-DETERMINED ACTIONS BE PREDICTABLE?

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Abstract

This paper examines Lockie’s theory of libertarian self-determinism in light of the question of prediction: “Can we know (or justifiably believe) how an agent will act, or is likely to act, freely?” I argue that, when Lockie's theory is taken to its full logical extent, free actions cannot be predicted to any degree of accuracy because, even if they have probabilities, these cannot be known. However, I suggest that this implication of his theory is actually advantageous, because it is able to explain and justify an important feature of the practices we use to determine whether someone has acted culpably: our hostility to the use of predictive evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-140
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Analytic Philosophy
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Dennett
  • Free will
  • Lockie
  • causation
  • criminal responsibility
  • determinism
  • objective probability
  • prediction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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