•  16
    Free actions as a natural kind
    Synthese 1-21. forthcoming.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. My view also overcomes diffi…Read more
  •  1592
    Phenomenal Abilities: Incompatibilism and the Experience of Agency
    with Matthew S. Bedke and Shaun Nichols
    In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Oxford University Press. 2013.
    Incompatibilists often claim that we experience our agency as incompatible with determinism, while compatibilists challenge this claim. We report a series of experiments that focus on whether the experience of having an ability to do otherwise is taken to be at odds with determinism. We found that participants in our studies described their experience as incompatibilist whether the decision was (i) present-focused or retrospective, (ii) imagined or actual, (iii) morally salient or morally neutra…Read more
  •  497
    Absences and Late Preemption
    Theoria 79 (1): 309-325. 2013.
    I focus on token, deterministic causal claims as they feature in causal explanations. Adequately handling absences is difficult for most causal theories, including theories of causal explanation. Yet so is adequately handling cases of late preemption. The best account of absence-causal claims as they appear in causal explanations is Jonathan Schaffer's quaternary, contrastive account. Yet Schaffer's account cannot handle preemption. The account that best handles late preemption is James Woodward…Read more
  •  97
    This collection provides a selection of the most essential contributions to the contemporary free will debate. Among the issues discussed and debated are skepticism and naturalism, alternate possibilities, the consequence argument, libertarian metaphysics, illusionism and revisionism, optimism and pessimism, neuroscience and free will, and experimental philosophy
  •  89
    Extending compatibilism: Control, responsibility, and blame
    Res Publica 13 (3): 209-230. 2007.
    In this paper, I argue that 'moral responsibility' refers to two concepts, not to one. In the first place, we are not ultimately morally responsible or, therefore, unqualifiedly blameworthy, due to the fact that we lack ultimate forms of control. But, second, it is legitimate to consider us to be morally responsible in another sense, and therefore qualifiedly blameworthy, once we have certain forms of control. Consequently, I argue that our normal practice of blaming is unjust, since it requires…Read more
  •  30
    Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will, by David Hodgson (review)
    Mind 124 (493): 347-351. 2015.
    Review of David Hodgson's defense of libertarian free will, from a compatibilist perspective, focusing on methodological issues in debates about free will.
  •  1051
    The Free-Will Intuitions Scale and the question of natural compatibilism
    with Taylor Davis and Jasmine Carey
    Philosophical Psychology 28 (6): 776-801. 2015.
    Standard methods in experimental philosophy have sought to measure folk intuitions using experiments, but certain limitations are inherent in experimental methods. Accordingly, we have designed the Free-Will Intuitions Scale to empirically measure folk intuitions relevant to free-will debates using a different method. This method reveals what folk intuitions are like prior to participants' being put in forced-choice experiments. Our results suggest that a central debate in the experimental philo…Read more
  •  119
    Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction (review)
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (5): 787-791. 2013.
    No abstract
  •  107
    The Fall From Eden: Why Libertarianism Isn't Justified By Experience
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2): 319-334. 2015.
    Libertarians claim that our experience of free choice is indeterministic. They think that, when we choose, our choice feels open in a way that would require indeterminism for the experience to be accurate. This claim then functions as a step in an argument in favour of libertarianism, the view that freedom requires indeterminism and we are free. Since, all else being equal, we should take experience at face value, libertarians argue, we should endorse libertarianism. Compatibilists, who think th…Read more
  •  88
    We use recent interventionist theories of causation to develop a compatibilist account of causal sourcehood, which provides a response to Manipulation Arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism. Our account explains the difference between manipulation and determinism, against the claim of Manipulation Arguments that there is no relevant difference. Interventionism allows us to see that causal determinism does not mean that variables outside of the agent causally explain her a…Read more
  •  426
    Is agentive experience compatible with determinism?
    Philosophical Explorations 18 (1): 2-19. 2015.
    Many philosophers think not only that we are free to act otherwise than we do, but also that we experience being free in this way. Terry Horgan argues that such experience is compatibilist: it is accurate even if determinism is true. According to Horgan, when people judge their experience as incompatibilist, they misinterpret it. While Horgan's position is attractive, it incurs significant theoretical costs. I sketch an alternative way to be a compatibilist about experiences of free agency that …Read more
  •  81
    Why people believe in indeterminist free will
    Philosophical Studies 172 (8): 2033-2054. 2015.
    Recent empirical evidence indicates that people tend to believe that they possess indeterminist free will, and people’s experience of choosing and deciding is that they possess such freedom. Some also maintain that people’s belief in indeterminist free will has its source in their experience of choosing and deciding. Yet there seem to be good reasons to resist endorsing. Despite this, I maintain that belief in indeterminist free will really does have its source in experience. I explain how this …Read more
  •  53
    Defending the Free-Will Intuitions Scale: Reply to Stephen Morris
    with Taylor Davis and Jasmine Carey
    Philosophical Psychology 28 (6): 808-814. 2015.
    In our paper, “The Free-Will Intuitions Scale and the question of natural compatibilism” , we seek to advance empirical debates about free will by measuring the relevant folk intuitions using the scale methodology of psychology, as a supplement to standard experimental methods. Stephen Morris raises a number of concerns about our paper. Here, we respond to Morris's concerns