A Discretionary Case for Preservationism about Free Will

  • Kelly McCormick Texas Christian University
Keywords: Free Will, Eliminativism, Preservationism


How does the term ‘free will’ refer? This question seems to lie at the center of debates about whether the attitudes and practices that depend on our successful attributions of basic-desert-entailing moral responsibility ought to be preserved or eliminated. In this paper I tackle questions about the way that different reference-fixing conventions might inform disagreement between preservationists and eliminativists about free will and moral responsibility, and argue that even recent elimination-friendly work on reference fails to offer much real support for eliminativism. In fact, making explicit the role that different motivating concerns play in rendering certain reference-fixing conventions operative for eliminativists and preservationists suggests at least one powerful reference-based argument in favor of preservationism.

How to Cite
McCormick, K. (2022). A Discretionary Case for Preservationism about Free Will. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(42), 1-28. Retrieved from https://www.humanamente.eu/index.php/HM/article/view/407
Methodology and free will