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Metaphilosophy and Free Will

by Richard Double

  • ISBN: 9780195107623
  • ISBN10: 0195107624

Metaphilosophy and Free Will

by Richard Double

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 09/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780195107623
  • ISBN10: 0195107624
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Description: Why is debate over the free will problem so intractable? This question forms the starting point for Richard Double's ground-breaking account of the way metaphilosophical views - our differing conceptions of the philosophical enterprise - condition competing theories of free will. Double holds that any argument for or against a specific free will position - such as compatibilism, incompatibilism, or the author's own subjectivism - will be persuasive only if one adopts supporting meta-level views of what philosophy is. He argues further that since metaphilosophical considerations are not provable (and are not even true or false, if subjectivism is true), there can be no hope of showing one free will theory to be more reasonable than the rest. Rather, the most philosophers can do is make a desire-based case for preferring their package of metaphilosophy and substantive free will theories. These means that argument in the free will problem must be radically reinterpreted. Double begins by elaborating the connection between metaphilosophy and free will. He identifies four distinct meta-level viewpoints that drive different answers to the free will problem: Philosophy as Conversation; Philosophy as Praxis; Philosophy as Underpinnings; and Philosophy as World View Construction. From there, he discusses intermediate-level principles that work in combination with the meta-philosophies, then provides ten applications from recent free will debates that demonstrate how differences in meta-philosophy make the free will problem unsolvable. In the second half of the book Double makes the strongest case he can - consistent with his own metaphilosophical view - for accepting free will subjectivism.
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