Freedom, Indeterminism and Imagination

  • MM Pitman


A suspicion about libertarian free will is that freedom is undermined, rather than supported, by the positing of indeterminism within processes of volition. In response, this paper presents a way in which moments of indeterminism can enhance freedom, by showing how such moments can genuinely belong to the agent. The key idea is that of putting the imagination to work in the service of free agency. The suggestion is that indeterministic processes of imaginative generativity can both belong to an agent, and provide a ground for claims of freedom. In contrast to Robert Kane’s libertarian proposal
of locating critical self-forming actions in special moments of rational choice, freedom-friendly indeterministic moments of self-shaping are instead posited within processes of imaginative generativity in which our future possibilities are imagined. This incompatibilist alternative to traditional libertarianism is briefly compared to Mele’s modest libertarianism, and defended against a selection of likely criticisms.

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eISSN: 0258-0136