Will; Freedom and Necessity

Will; Freedom and Necessity
Eliezer Malchiel

The central question the book traces and develops is whether freedom, autonomy and responsibility require that Man be exempt from the deterministic order of nature. To this question the book replies in the negative, adhering to the position of compatibilists, who hold that freedom, autonomy and responsibility are compatible with determinism. The incompatibilists’ challenges encourage ever-more sophisticated compatibilist interpretations of these concepts: room needs to be made not only for Man’s freedom of action but also for her freedom of will, and for her capacity to mold herself and her deeper self. Rationality has a central role in answering a basic worry of incompatibilists, namely that compatibilists ignore the fact that Man’s use of her will in directing her life and forming her character (these can admittedly be accommodated by compatibilists) is conditioned, in the end of the day, by factors she has no control or autonomy over, and so no responsibility for. The basic worry is, in other words, that compatibilist freedom and autonomy are encased within strict and narrow boundaries, thereby shown to be. The latter chapters of the book are devoted to showing that the shared and open horizon of rational discourse, which enables rational agents to respond to claims whose origin transcends the agents’ confines, is sufficient, both theoretically and pragmatically, to allay this worry. Being rational, agents are not imprisoned within their internal world, and this affords all that is needed to ground their freedom, autonomy and responsibility. In a complementary fashion, the perspective of practical reason, being constituted through and through by self-imposed claims of reason, is not constrained by external restrictions of genetic-psychological-natural Givens. Behind the scenes of the theoretical debate lie moral and existential visions for human beings. Some of the theories can be made sense of only from this perspective – not as offering a picture of the human condition as it simply is, or a clarification of the everyday concepts we use in our everyday discourse, but rather as powerful means seeking and affecting transformation. Exposing the transformative dimension of these theories enables the author to examine and assess them not only from a theoretical point of view but also from the moral and existential one. This paves the way to a reflection, in the concluding chapter, about the tension between transformation and clarification: between a spiritual calling that does not allow any contextual-realistic limitations on its vision, and a philosophical task, seeking to achieve clarity about things as they are. Can, and should, a really revolutionary vision aspire to be Realistic?
Digital Edition Kotar

Danacode:   110-20193 ISBN:  978-965-226-426-8 Language:   Hebrew Pages:   296 Weight:   800 gr Dimensions:  16X23 cm Publication Date:   05/2013 Publisher:   Bar-Ilan University Press

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