Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy

Article Title

Value-Laden Free Will


In this paper, I deliver a value-laden concept of free will. This concept of free will depends on an insight into agential psychology: we generally act in light of the desire of the good and the conception of a good life. Since our actions are performed in relation to the motivational final end—a good human life, the value-laden concept of free will defines that an agent has free will in x-ing only if the agent is motivated in such a way that x-ing is genuinely conducive to a good life. The value-laden concept of free will does not aim at offering a necessary condition of moral responsibility because, intuitively, free will and moral responsibility can come apart in some cases where the wrongdoer is ignorant or deluded. The value-laden concept of free will is able to explain why agents in the following three types of situations are not free: (1) the action is coerced, (2) the action is deluded or ignorant, and (3) there exists some inner hindrance to the agent’s reactivity to right reasons. It turns out that the value-laden freedom requires an agent to have a good understanding of the situation in which one acts and the right reasoning concerning what actions count towards a good life.

Included in

Philosophy Commons