Janice E. Moskalik
Philosophical topics at the intermediate level. Content varies each quarter, depending on instructor.
Moral Responsibility and Free Will
What is free will? Do we have free will? Do we need to have free will in order to be responsible for our actions? And, do we need to be responsible for our actions to be deserving of praise and blame?
Most of us tend to blame people for doing bad things, and praise people for doing good things. But some might worry that our being responsible for our actions – in other words, whether our actions are “ours” in the relevant sense – is dependent upon our having free will, and that if we are not responsible for our actions, then we cannot properly be praised or blamed. But what is free will, and whether or how it affects agency and responsibility, are difficult questions that philosophers answered in different ways. In this class, we will look at some of the ways philosophers have understood the relationship between free will and moral responsibility.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading