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The Modern Schoolman

Volume 88, Issue 1/2, January/April 2011

Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Andrei A. Buckareff
Pages 105-121
DOI: 10.5840/schoolman2011881/27

How Does Agent-Causal Power Work?

Agent-causalism or the agency theory is the thesis that agents qua objects/substances cause at least some of their decisions (or at least their coming to have an intention that is constitutive of a decision). In this paper, I examine the tenability of an attractive agent-causal account of the metaphysics of the springs of free action developed and defended in the recent work of Timothy O’Connor. Against the backdrop of recent work on causal powers in ontology, I argue that, however attractive the account, O’Connor’s agent-causal theory of free agency is ultimately untenable.

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