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Mental Causation and Ontology$
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S. C. Gibb, E. J. Lowe, and R. D. Ingthorsson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199603770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603770.001.0001

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Substance Causation, Powers, and Human Agency

Substance Causation, Powers, and Human Agency

Chapter:
(p.153) 6 Substance Causation, Powers, and Human Agency
Source:
Mental Causation and Ontology
Author(s):

E. J. Lowe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603770.003.0007

Within the general framework of a powers-based theory of substance causation, the human will is argued to be a unique kind of spontaneous power, distinguished by the facts that it is a two-way power—a power either to will or not to will a particular course of action—and that it can be exercised rationally, that is, ‘in the light of reason’. It is contended that such a power would give human agents all the control that they could need or want over their voluntary actions and that we cannot, on pain of denying our own rationality, deny that we possess such a power.

Keywords:   agents, control, powers, rationality, reason, substance causation, voluntary actions, will

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