Metaphysics III: free will and retribution
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Metaphysics III: free will and retribution book
Traditionally free will has been associated with responsibility, for how can we be morally responsible for something if we are not free? Discussions of it therefore straddle the line between metaphysics (or perhaps philosophy of mind) and ethics. Chapter 4 of Philosophical Explanations duly includes both metaphysics and ethics, but with a difference. Nozick treats free will not so much as a prerequisite for responsibility but as an intrinsically valuable feature of our status as human beings. The ethical discussion of punishment that ends the chapter is strictly therefore a side issue, although an important one (PE: 291).