Reason's Debt to Freedom: Normative Appraisals, Reasons, and Free Will

ISBN : 9780199899203

Ishtiyaque Haji
270 ページ
149 x 218 mm

To have free will with respect to an act is to have the ability both to perform and to refrain from performing it. In this book, Ishtiyaque Haji argues that no one can have practical reasons of a certain sort - "objective reasons" - to perform some act unless one has free will regarding that act. It follows that we cannot have objective reasons to perform an act unless we could have done otherwise. This is reason's debt to freedom. Haji argues, further, for the thesis that various things we value, such as moral and prudential obligation, intrinsic value, and a range of moral sentiments that figure centrally in interpersonal relationships, presuppose our having free will. They do so because each of these things essentially requires that we have objective reasons, the having of which, in turn, demands that we have alternatives. Finally, Haji distinguishes between two sorts of alternatives, strong or incompatibilist alternatives and weak or compatibilist alternatives. Assuming, on the one hand, that obligation and some of the other things we value require strong alternatives, he concludes that determinism precludes these things because determinism expunges strong alternatives. If, on the other hand, they require only weak alternatives, a chief compatibilist agenda of establishing the compatibility of these things with determinism without appeal to alternatives of any kind - the semi-compatibilist's agenda - is jeopardized.


Chapter 1. Freedom, Normative Judgments, and Reason
1.1. Freedom and Normative Judgments: The Basic Issues
1.2. A Brief Outline
Chapter 2 Reasons and Alternative Possibilities
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Types of Reason
2.3. A Requirement of Alternative Possibilities for Objective Pro Tanto Reasons
2.3.1. "Wrong" Implies "Can"
2.3.2. Objections to "Wrong" Implies "Can"
2.4. An Alternative Possibilities Requirement for "Right," "Wrong," and "Obligation"
2.5. Some Objections
Chapter 3. Moral Obligation, Prudential Obligation, and Alternative Possibilities
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Moral Obligation, Reason, and Alternative Possibilities
3.3. Objections to the View that Moral Obligation Requires Alternatives
3.3.1. A Problem with the Derivation
3.3.2. The Challenge of Frankfurt Examples
3.3.3. Reliance on "Ought" Implies "Can"
3.4. Prudential Obligation, Reason, and Alternative Possibilities
3.5. Objections to the View that Prudential Obligation Requires Alternatives
3.5.1. Prudence or Self-Interest?
3.5.2. Prudential Obligation and Objective Pro Tanto Reasons
3.5.3. A Challenge from Frankfurt Examples
Chapter 4. Axiological Appraisals and Alternative Possibilities
4.1. Introduction
4.2. Intrinsic Value and Reasons
4.3. A Requirement of Alternative Possibilities for Intrinsic Value
4.4. The Morally Deontic's Dependence on the Axiological
4.5. Pleasure and Reasons
4.6. Virtue and Reasons
Chapter 5. Moral Sentiments and Alternative Possibilities
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Forgiveness and Reasons
5.3. Indignation and Reasons
5.4. Guilt, Sorrow, and Reasons
5.5. Gratitude, Joy, Thankfulness, and Reasons
5.6. The Moral Sentiments and Alternative Possibilities
Chapter 6. Determinism's Impact on Normative Judgments
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and Normative Assessments
6.2.1. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and Intrinsic Value
6.2.2. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, Welfare, and Happiness
6.2.3. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and Moral Responsibility
6.2.4. Incompatibilism, Strong Alternatives, and the Moral Sentiments
6.3. Libertarianism, Luck, and Normative Appraisals
6.4. Compatibilism, Weak Alternatives, and Normative Judgments
6.5. On the Viability of Semi-Compatibilism
6.6. Revisiting Frankfurt Examples
6.7. Other Varieties of Semi-Compatibilism
Appendix A: Agent Causation and Luck
Chapter 7 Imperiled Compatibilist Approaches
7.1. Introduction
7.2. Strawsonian Semi-Compatibilism
7.2.1. An Outline of Strawsonian Compatibilism
7.2.2. Reactive Attitudes, Obligation, and Alternative Possibilities
7.2.3. Another Pathway to Questioning Strawsonian Semi-Compatibilism
7.3. Mesh Theories
7.3.1. Hierarchical Control and Reason
7.3.2. Assessment of the Revised Hierarchical View
7.4. Wolf's Reason View
7.5. Watson's Mesh Theory
7.6. Concluding Remarks on Reasons-Responsiveness Accounts of Control
Chapter 8 Conclusion
8.1. Summary of the Argument
8.2. Primary Ramifications


Ish Haji is professor of philosophy at the University of Calgary. He has research interests in action theory, ethical theory, metaphysics, and philosophical psychology. His publications include Moral Appraisability, Deontic Morality and Control, Moral Responsibility, Authenticity, and Education ( with S. Cuypers), Freedom and Value, and Incompatibilism's Allure.