3rd Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy – Abstract/Li

Shi Li

Causal Explanation, Freedom, and Davidson

By criticizing Davidson’s way of searching freedom within casual explanation, this paper points out that the agent’s freedom to act is not decided by the antecedent casual conditions but decided by the casual law between antecedent factors and the agent’s actions. To challenge the dilemma between the casual explanation and the agent’s freedom to act, this paper argues that the agent’s actions are decided by the casual law and the casual law of an agent’s actions is performed by the agent oneself. It is these two facts that constitute the freedom of the agent within causal explanation. Moreover, based on this understanding of freedom, this paper analyses the possibility for the agent to do otherwise.