About Free Will and Epistemology

In the first in-depth study of the transcendental argument for decades, Free Will and Epistemology defends a modern version of the famous transcendental argument for free will: that we could not be justified in undermining a strong notion of free will, as a strong notion of free will is required for any such process of undermining to be itself epistemically justified. By arguing for a conception of internalism that goes back to the early days of the internalist-externalist debates, it draws on work by Richard Foley, William Alston and Alvin Plantinga to explain the importance of epistemic deontology and its role in the transcendental argument. It expands on the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ and presents a strong case for a form of self-determination. With references to cases in the neuroscientific and cognitive-psychological literature, Free Will and Epistemology provides an original contribution to work on epistemic justification and the free will debate.

He who says that all things happen of necessity can hardly find fault with one who denies that all happens by necessity; for on his own theory this very argument is voiced by necessity (Epicurus 1964: XL).

They say that he [Zeno] was once scourging a slave whom he had detected in theft; and when he said to him, “It was fated that I should steal” he rejoined, “Yes, and that you should be beaten.” (Diogenes Laertius, of Zeno of Citium 1895: 23)