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Organon F

Volume 26, February 2019, Issue 1, Pages 141–168

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Causality, Free Will, and Divine Action

Freedom, Power and Causation

Thomas Pink

https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26109

Abstract

Freedom or control of how we act is often and very naturally understood as a kind of power—a power to determine for ourselves how we act. Is freedom conceived as such a power possible, and what kind of power must it be? The paper argues that power takes many forms, of which ordinary causation is only one; and that if freedom is indeed a kind of power, it cannot be ordinary causation. Scepticism about the reality of freedom as a power can take two forms. One, found in Hume, now often referred to as the Mind argument, assumes incompatibilism, and concludes from incompatibilism that freedom cannot exist, as indistinguishable from chance. But another scepticism, found in Hobbes, does not assume incompatibilism, but assumes rather that the only possible form of power in nature is ordinary causation, concluding that freedom cannot for this reason exist as a form of power. This scepticism is more profound—it is in fact presupposed by Hume’s scepticism—and far more interesting, just because freedom cannot plausibly be modelled as ordinary causation.

Keywords

Causation; chance; compatibilism; freedom; Hobbes; Hume; incompatibilism; law of nature; power; reason; scepticism; Suarez.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)

Author

Thomas Pink

Affiliation

King’s College London

Address

Department of Philosophy, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, United Kingdom

E-mail

tom.pink@kcl.ac.uk

About this article

Received

1 July 2018

Accepted

29 November 2018

Published online

22 January 2019

Publishers

Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as

APA

Pink, T. (2019). Freedom, Power and Causation. Organon F, 26(1), 141–168. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26109

Chicago

Pink, Thomas. 2019. "Freedom, Power and Causation." Organon F 26 (1): 141–168. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26109

Harvard

Pink, T. (2019). Freedom, Power and Causation. Organon F, 26(1), pp. 141–168. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26109

Copyright information

© Thomas Pink

Response page

https://www.sav.sk/index.php?lang=sk&doc=journal-list&part=article_response_page&journal_article_no=16043

The above URL is linked with the article's response page. The response page is a permanent location that is associated with the article's DOI number.


This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


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