University of Arizona
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1993
Williamsburg, Virginia, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Metaphysics
Philosophy of Action
  • Religion on the Cheap
    Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 6 87-113. 2015.
  •  1
    Freedom, Coherence, and the Self
    Dissertation, The University of Arizona. 1993.
    A plausible theory of human freedom must give some account of both alternate possibilities and self-determination. Debate over the correct interpretation of the first feature gives rise to the metaphysical problem of whether or not freedom is compatible with the thesis of determinism, according to which, given the actual past and the actual laws of nature, there is at any time only one physically possible future. It is my view that persons act freely only if the thesis of determinism is false. B…Read more
  •  128
    Alienation, autonomy, and the self
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1). 2005.
  •  6
    Free Will, Chance, and Mystery
    Philosophical Studies 113 (2): 153-180. 2003.
    This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedom and causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation as a primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen's recent case for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on the widespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to be free. I distinguish three senses of the term 'chance.' I then argue that van Inwagen's case for free will mystrianism fails, since there is no single construal of the term 'change' o…Read more
  •  60
    Rational Abilities and Responsibility
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2): 459-466. 2013.
    For a symposium on Dana Nelkin's Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility.
  •  152
    Freedom, Causation, and the Consequence Argument
    Synthese 115 (3): 333-354. 1998.
    The problem of analyzing causation and the problem of incompatibilism versus compatibilism are largely distinct. Yet, this paper will show that there are some theories of causation that a compatibilist should not endorse: namely, counterfactual theories, specifically the one developed by David Lewis and a newer, amended version of his account. Endorsing either of those accounts of causation undercuts the main compatibilist reply to a powerful argument for incompatibilism. Conversely, the argumen…Read more
  •  91
    A coherence theory of autonomy
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3): 599-616. 1993.
    This paper presents a conception of the self partially in terms of a particular notion of preference. It develops a coherentist account of when one's preferences are "authorized", or sanctioned as one's own, and presents a coherence theory of autonomous action. The view presented solves certain problems with hierarchical accounts of freedom, such as Harry Frankfurt's
  •  15
    Inviting Sex
    Public Affairs Quarterly 18 (3): 187-204. 2004.
  •  124
    A companion volume to Free Will: A Philosophical Study, this new anthology collects influential essays on free will, including both well-known contemporary classics and exciting recent work. Agency and Responsibility: Essays on the Metaphysics of Freedom is divided into three parts. The essays in the first section address metaphysical issues concerning free will and causal determinism. The second section groups papers presenting a positive account of the nature of free action, including competin…Read more
  •  100
    For those who maintain that free will is incompatible with causal determinism, a persistent problem is to give a coherent characterization of action that is neither determined by prior events nor random, arbitrary, lucky or in some way insufficiently under the control of the agent to count as free action. One approach—that of Roderick Chisholm and others—is to say that a third alternative is for an action to be caused by an agent in a way that is not reducible to event causal terms. A different …Read more
  •  302
    In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among e…Read more
  •  36
    Causes and nested counterfactuals
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (4). 1995.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  7
    A Coherence Theory of Autonomy
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3): 599-616. 1993.
  •  22
    The Theory and Practice of Autonomy
    Philosophical Review 102 (4): 616. 1993.
  •  224
    Free will, chance, and mystery
    Philosophical Studies 113 (2): 153-80. 2003.
    This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall…Read more
  •  103
    Ambivalence and authentic agency
    Ratio 23 (4): 374-392. 2010.
    It is common to believe that some of our concerns are deeper concerns of ours than are others and that some of our attitudes are central rather than peripheral to our psychological identity. What is the best approach to characterizing depth or centrality to the self? This paper addresses the matter of the depth and authenticity of attitudes and the relation of this matter to the autonomy of action. It defends a conception of the real self in terms of preferences and convictions that cohere in a …Read more
  •  34
    Protecting Incompatibilist Freedom
    American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (3): 281-291. 1998.