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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 2, April 1997

Stewart Goetz
Pages 195-211
DOI: 10.5840/faithphil199714217

Libertarian Choice

In this paper, I develop a noncausal view of agency. I defend the thesis that choices are uncaused mental actions and maintain, contrary to causal theorists of action, that choices differ intrinsically or inherently from nonactions. I explain how they do by placing them in an ontology favored by causal agency theorists (agent-causationists). This ontology is one of powers and liabilities. After explicating how a choice is an uncaused event, I explain how an adequate account of freedom involves the concept of choosing for a reason. Choosing for a reason is a teleological notion, and I set forth what is involved in making a choice for a purpose.

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