•  19
    Causality and determination, powers and agency: Anscombean perspectives
    with Jesse M. Mulder, Thomas Müller, and Dawa Ometto
    Synthese 200 (6): 1-16. 2022.
    Anscombe’s 1971 inaugural lecture at Cambridge, entitled ‘Causality and Determination’, has had a lasting influence on a remarkably broad range of philosophers and philosophical debates, touching on fundamental topics in philosophy of science, action theory, the free will debate, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. Especially where anti-reductionist or pluralist strands of philosophical thought are being seriously considered, one should not be surprised to find references to Ansco…Read more
  •  16
    Anscombe’s “Causality and Determination” is often cited in the contemporary free will debate, but rarely discussed in much detail. It’s main contribution, it is thought, is the defense of an alternative to deterministic causation, thus clearing the way for an incompatibilist analysis of free actions in terms of probabilistic causation. However, in this paper I will show that the contemporary probabilistic analysis of free action actually stands in direct conflict with Anscombe’s lecture. Instead…Read more
  •  92
    Free Will and Mental Powers
    Topoi 39 (5): 1155-1165. 2020.
    In this paper, we investigate how contemporary metaphysics of powers can further an understanding of agent-causal theories of free will. The recent upsurge of such ontologies of powers and the understanding of causation it affords promises to demystify the notion of an agent-causal power. However, as we argue pace, the very ubiquity of powers also poses a challenge to understanding in what sense exercises of an agent’s power to act could still be free—neither determined by external circumstances…Read more
  •  95
    The libertarian predicament: a plea for action theory
    Synthese 196 (1): 161-178. 2019.
    Libertarians in the contemporary free will debate find themselves under attack from two angles. They face the challenge of defending the necessity of indeterminism for freedom against the philosophical mainstream position of compatibilism. And second, they are increasingly forced to argue for the very possibility of indeterministic free will, in the face of the so-called luck objection. Many contemporary libertarians try to overcome the second problem by adopting the causal theory of action. We …Read more
  •  349
    Practical Knowledge and Foreseen Side Effects
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1): 1-7. 2011.
    On Anscombe's view, intentional actions are characterized by a specific type of knowledge (practical knowledge) possessed by the agents that perform them. Recently, interest in Anscombean action theory has been renewed. Sarah Paul argues that Anscombean action theory faces a serious problem: It fails to discriminate between an action’s intended aim or purpose and its foreseen side effects. Since Anscombeans conceive practical knowledge as the formal cause of intentional actions, Paul dubs this a…Read more