Blog Coordinator

« Back to Basics II--Free Will and the Law | Main | Shameless self-promotion »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I count more than 5 positions even given your schema. You can combine either of hard/soft on determinism, with either on indeterminism, while remaining uncertain on determinism itself. If one rejects meaning-skepticism, there are 3 questions with 8 possible combinations (not counting agnosticism, leanings, etc.). Adding meaning-of-FW-skepticism back in, that's 9 basic positions.

Hi Paul and thanks. I agree that there's much mixing and matching to be done with essentially two issues in contest--free will and responsibility--and subtleties abound. Mix in issues of logical (in)compatibility, epistemic problems and normative realism, anti-realism, quasi-realism and we could probably get a lot more than 9. But that was my motivation here: try to provide *areas* of relatedness where it would make sense to group positions together logically but parsimoniously. That's why, for example, (1') and (2') have disjunctive consequents that allow FW and MR of similar types to be more or less closely associated depending on the motivations to do so. As well I throw together all skeptical positions I can think of--semantical, epistemic, normative--so they can be mixed or matched as adherents see fit. My recommendation about restriction of the use of the term "skeptic" to that grouping is based on how I view even just a fairly strong atheism (my own view): such a view takes a strongly negative position--amounting to denial--of certain kinds of concepts much as hard incompatibilists do. Yeah, sure Pereboom is a skeptic about incompatibilist free will in some loose sense, but so is Mele, and in quite another sense. Better I think to call Derk a denier and Al a skeptic (pardon my assumed familiarity).

But again, thanks for engaging me on this.

If 3 Quarks starts a "Went Over Like A Lead Balloon" award, then this post has the clear inside track, and Flickers will be able to boast zenith and nadir in that regard!

Before the weekend I will post my Zombies farewell for this short month of posts.

The comments to this entry are closed.