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Lecture 25

PHL105Y5 Lecture 25: 01 Free Will

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Bernard Katz

What does it mean to say ofsomeone that, in performing some action, he or she acted freely? Definition 1: Doing what one wants to do. A person S acts freely if and only if S does what S wants or chooses to do. Iow, a voluntary action is a free action. Definition 2: The power to do otherwise A person S acts freely if and onlyif at the time that S acts, it is in S's power to do otherwise. This is sometimes called ‘metaphysical freedom’. According to Defn 2, to say that a person did something of his own free will, or that the person acted freely, is to say that: It was in the person’s power to do something other than what he or she did. The person could have done otherwise There was an alternative open to the person Responsibility To be responsible for some action is to deserve —praise, credit, or reward if the action was good —blame, censure, or punishment if the acti
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