Free Will pp 81-97 | Cite as

What Is Free Choice?

  • D. J. O’Connor
Part of the Problems of Philosophy book series


in examining the consistency thesis, we have seen that “His course of action was freely chosen” means, according to the soft determinist, “His course of action was in accordance with his wishes and intentions and was not impeded by physical or psychological constraints.” But the libertarian is not satisfied with this account. He would say that it sets out a necessary but not a sufficient condition for freedom. If this is so, the soft determinist account of free action has omitted something important and we have now to ask what has been omitted. Answering this question will give us a clearer idea of what the free will thesis amounts to; for we have seen earlier that part of the difficulty in dealing with these questions lies in the fact that the claims of the libertarian are not usually spelled out in clearly understandable terms. And we shall have to examine the various interpretations of these omitted conditions to make sure that their claims are possible and that there is adequate evidence in their favor.


Physical System Special Kind Free Choice Free Action Intelligent Design 
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© D. J. O’Connor 1971

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  • D. J. O’Connor

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