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Wolf, Susan, , . Asymmetrical freedom
1980, Journal of Philosophy 77(3): 151-166.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Diversifying Syllabi: Thesis: interesting and sophisticated position compatibilist position in the debate about free will and determinism. Slogan: To be free is to be determined by the Good. The claim is that if we do the right thing for the right reasons, then we are free – in the sense that is required by moral responsibility – even if we are determined. But if we do the wrong thing, then we are free and morally responsible only if we are not determined (i.e. if we could have done otherwise).

Comment: This text offers an interesting discussion of the issue of free will and determinism, and its relation to moral responsibility. It is best used in teaching metaphysics and moral philosophy classes on those topics. It offers some review of the debate, but is not general enough to be used as an introduction. It can also be used in more specific classes in ethics, focusing on moral luck or blameworthiness.

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Wolf, Susan, , . Freedom Within Reason
1990, Oxford University Press
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Jojanneke Vanderveen

Publisher’s Note: In Freedom Within Reason, Susan Wolf charts a course between incompatibilism, or the notion that freedom and responsibility require causal and metaphysical independence from the impersonal forces of nature, and compatibilism, or the notion that people are free and responsible as long as their actions are governed by their desires. Wolf argues that some of the forces which are beyond our control are friends to freedom rather than enemies of it, enabling us to see the world for what it is. The freedom we want is not independence from the world, but independence from the forces that prevent us from choosing how to live in the light of a sufficient appreciation of the world.

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