Free Will, Fundamental Dualism, and the Centrality Of Illusion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article's view is unusual among contemporary views of free will. It is defined by two radical theses. The first, Fundamental Dualism, says that we can and should be both incompatibilists and compatibilists about freedom and responsibility. There is no reason, the article argues, why it should not be the case that certain forms of moral responsibility, desert, and blame require libertarian free will, whereas other forms can be sustained without it. Thus, if libertarian free will is impossible, there is no reason why we have to choose between hard determinism or compatibilism. The second thesis, Illusionism, is even more radical. It notes that the consequences for humanity of widespread belief that we lack libertarian free will would be dire and destructive. Illusion about free will is therefore morally necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Free Will
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940387
ISBN (Print)9780195399691
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Fundamental dualism
  • Hard determinism
  • Illusionism
  • Incompatibilist
  • Libertarian free will
  • Moral responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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