Philosophical Papers

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On Making an Effort

EJ Coffman


This paper is in the main a critical study of Robert Kane's account of the nature of Free Choice. I begin by briefly describing Kane's theory. I then consider four questions about a concept that is central to his account—viz., the concept of an Effort of Will. I argue that Kane's position affords satisfactory answers to three of these questions. Reflection on the fourth and final question, however, reveals a problem for Kanean Libertarianism. The problem, in brief, is this. It can be shown that the plausibility of Kanean Libertarianism is inversely proportional to the plausibility of a certain principle of agency. The latter is at least fairly plausible, so the former is at best fairly implausible. This is a strike against Kanean Libertarianism. I conclude by drawing two general lessons from the preceding discussion.

Philosophical Papers Vol.33(1) 2004: 11-21
AJOL African Journals Online