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Ethicsand "The Nature of Moral Philosophy"$
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G. E. Moore and William H. Shaw

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272013

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199272018.001.0001

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Free Will

Free Will

Chapter:
(p.102) 6 Free Will
Source:
Ethics
Author(s):

G. E. Moore

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199272018.003.0006

This chapter is Moore’s most important discussion of the subject of free will. He distinguishes the question of whether right and wrong depend not on what we can do if we choose, but rather on what we can do in some more absolute sense, from the question of whether we ever could have done anything different from what we actually did do. He analyzes closely the ambiguities of ‘could have done’ and ‘could have chosen’. He maintains that certain propositions ordinarily taken to be perfectly true are not only compatible with the principle of causality, but also license claims that we have free will.

Keywords:   fatalism, free will, principle of causality, voluntary actions, could

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