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Freedom, Power and Causation

In: Organon F, vol. 26, no. 1
Thomas Pink


Year, pages: 2019, 141 - 168
Language: eng
Causation; chance; compatibilism; freedom; Hobbes; Hume; incom-patibilism; law of nature; power; reason; scepticism; Suarez.
Article type: Research Article
Document type: Research Article
About article:
Freedom or control of how we act is often and very naturally under-stood 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. Scepti-cism 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 or-dinary causation, concluding that freedom cannot for this reason ex-ist 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 cau-sation.
How to cite:
ISO 690:
Pink, T. 2019. Freedom, Power and Causation. In Organon F, vol. 26, no.1, pp. 141-168. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26109

Pink, T. (2019). Freedom, Power and Causation. Organon F, 26(1), 141-168. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26109
About edition:
Publisher: Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Published: 22. 1. 2019
Thomas Pink