Answers to the question of how to explain actions done for reasons and understand an agent’s intentional behavior underlie broader debates, including those in politics, law, and economics. Equally fundamental are answers to the additional issues of whether we have free will and are morally responsible for our behavior. A standard answer to questions of the first kind reads: Reason explanation is a species of causal explanation. A standard formulation of the second sort of question is: Are free will and moral responsibility compatible with determinism? Scott Sehon’s book, which we will discuss in parts, brings both issues together in a fresh and powerful way: If reason explanation of human agency is irreducibly teleological rather than causal it motivates a compatibilist view of free will—a view on which mechanism and even determinism pose no threat to our agency and moral responsibility.
Scott Sehon, Free Will and Action Explanation. A Non-Causal, Compatibilist Account. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. The chapters we deal with will be made available on ILIAS.
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