Monday, November 19, 2007

Metaphysics

Final Exam

Due: Wed. December 5, 10:30 AM

YOU MUST COME TO CLASS AND TURN IT IN AT THIS TIME.

YOUR FINAL PAPER IS ALSO DUE AT THIS TIME.

At least 5 pages, carefully written and flawlessly proofed

This exam presents an opportunity for you to show that you have a deep, comprehensive and nuanced understanding of free will problems and their complexity.

Write an essay where all these questions below are answered. Write for an audience that knows nothing about the free will problem: explain everything so they understand. Your essay should have an introduction.

For more guidance on writing, see the Pryor article handed out in class.

  1. What is the best definition, concept or theory of what it is to act freely or have free will? To answer this, you must explain and discuss a specific definition, concept or theory (so not a broad category like “libertarian”; you need a specific version of a broad theory) and contrast it to two other specific definitions, concepts or theories. You need to argue that your favorite specific definition, concept or theory is the best. So you need to explain everything you need to do that so that your audience understands.

  1. Is this theory compatible with determinism? If someone might think it is, explain why someone might think this. If they are mistaken in suspecting this, explain why they are mistaken.

  1. Is this theory compatible with indeterminism? If someone might think it is, explain why someone might think this. If they are mistaken in suspecting this, explain why they are mistaken.

  1. Thus, is your preferred theory of free will or free action compatiblistic or incompatiblistic?

  1. In light of (1), (2) and (3) above, do we ever have such a free will, or act freely, on this understanding of free will, determinism and indeterminism?

  1. What are two of the strongest objections to your position? How do you respond to these objections?

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