- Created by: A. Person
- Created on: 26-03-16 13:24
This is the notion that agents are the first relata of the causal happenings wich make up free action.
Non-event causation by the agent.
CD Broad - agent causation must satisfy the following conditions:
1. Self/agent is sole cause of choice
2. Causation can be exercised in two directions
3. Causation of free choice action is causation of an event by a substance which cannot be explained as the causation of an occurrence by other occurrences
Aristotle suggested that while a stone is moved by a hand, and hand moved by the man, the man is a mover not so in virtue of anything else. Chisholm - free agents are essentially prime movers unmoved.
We're influenced by our genes, but we want the freedom that's left over - i.e. our choices can be restricted to A and B, but whether we chose A or B comes down to us.
Explanation and Ultimacy
Explanation Condition: can answer 'why did this act occur' solely with 'because the agent caused it to'
Ultimacy Condition: actions' occurring rather than not has its ultimate explanation in the fact that it is caused by the agent.
Kane's Criticism of Agent Causation
- Kane opts for an approach that sees causal relation as holding between events - an effot of will + a decision
- Event-causal libertarianism
- Problem with agent causation is an incompatibility between ultimacy and explanation.
- The ultimacy condition required indeterminism, but undetermined acts cannot be explained.
- Radium atom analogy - we can explain the alarm going off with reference to the decay of the atom, but cannot explain why it decayed…